Paralegal Certification: An Overview

Written by admin on May 10th, 2012

If you want to become an assistant of a lawyer, you have to obtain paralegal degree. Professionals working for lawyers should be well versed with the law. Paralegal assistance is a well recognized profession, and for an individual to be an effective paralegal, they should complete a training program on various legal courses. A paralegal certification signifies that a person has gone through and finished paralegal courses from accredited institutions.

In the United States and Canada, paralegals serve as assistants in law firms. However, there exists a variation in the recognition given to paralegals in different countries. Consequently, the qualifications for paralegals vary from country to country. Paralegal education and training varies among different countries. But everyone can enroll in a paralegal training program, but take note of the set qualifications for admission.

Most institutions that provide training require students to pass entrance exams.

Interested students can enroll at colleges or universities that offer paralegal training, which runs for about 24 months. Note that prerequisites vary from school to school, as mentioned. Some schools require enrollees to have prior degree related to law. But some schools admit even high school graduates. Some schools give credit to enrollees who have prior experience in working at law offices as assistants.

Today a lot of educational programs can be taken online. Online paralegal courses have become popular among people from remote areas, full-time professionals, and full-time students. Online courses are designed to be interactive. Institutions that provide online training must provide standard materials used in delivering the course. Furthermore, these institutions should have license to provide paralegal training. They should be authorized by accrediting bodies. Online courses may include an online instructor. The online instructors should be certified too. Aside from authenticity of the institution and certification of the instructors, the instruction itself must be verified. Is the course curriculum valid and updated?

Educational attainment of a professional seeking paralegal job is one factor that determines the amount he or she can earn. Lawyers require assistants to have background in law. They tend to pick prospects with good experience and training. Where and how they receive paralegal training is important. Expectedly, someone with good training and substantial experience will be preferred.

Paralegals may not stay as is forever. Many pursue further law degrees to become lawyers. Paralegal studies can prepare one to become a lawyer someday.

Competitive paralegal salary also awaits those with impressive résumés. The salary of a paralegal depends on a few things. Two formerly mentioned are educational attainment and experience. Requirements vary among law firms, so look at requirements for job offers before submitting applications. Lawyers generally hire paralegals who can be relied upon when it comes to regular law firm tasks. They are interested in employing professional assistants who have the right skills, but it’s not enough that one has the qualifications. Job performance is necessary too. No matter how stellar your academic performance was if you don’t show reliability on your job, you can lose your job as a paralegal. On top of having paralegal certification, the assistant should be able to manage client files, conduct legal research, make legal documents, and do other ancillary tasks.

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