Life as a paralegal means intellectually stimulating and rewarding work that can change lives. However, there are many things to take into consideration when becoming a paralegal. You’ll want to make sure you do your research when deciding what’s best for you. Each state has its own unique requirements for paralegals. However, most states have no specific education requirement. That means you can select the program that’s best for you.
There are a wide range of educational programs available for paralegals. They range from certifications to graduate programs. When considering any education program that rights for you, you’ll want to confirm that it is approved by the American Bar Association (ABA).
The ABA sets the legal education standards on a national level. Attending an ABA accredited program will ensure any potential employer that you’ve received a top-notch and comprehensive legal education. A great place to start is with the ABA in order to obtain a list of educational programs. There are also many other paralegal organizations from local to a national level that offer support and guidance.
You may want to consider the area of law that you’d like to specialize in. Each potential employer may set their own specific guidelines or requirement according to their needs. A paralegal’s role can vary greatly depending on the area of law they work in, as well as the culture of the firm and partnering attorneys.
Lastly, a little determination can go a long way. Experience is often considered to be just as desirable as an education. Many paralegals start out in a different position in the legal field and work their way up to paralegal.