Paralegal How to get certified
In today’s economy, everyone is looking for a way to get a head start on other job seekers, looking for a career that is nearly recession-proof. Fortunately, there is a profession that will never disappear and that is the legal profession. While the thought of going to school and becoming a lawyer may not thrill you, becoming a paralegal does.
A paralegal does work that is delegated to him by a lawyer he is working with. They can perform some of the same tasks that an attorney can, but they may not have the time for it. However, they cannot bring a case to court or provide legal advice of any kind. What paralegals can do is help the attorney prepare for trials, hearings, closings, and meetings.
They help by researching any facts that are relevant to a case and make sure the attorney has all the necessary information as the case is prepared. This type of work includes gathering information about laws, judgments, or other similar materials that the lawyer may need to handle a case effectively. They make sure that the lawyer has all the information at his fingertips.
Paralegal education is generally the completion of an associate’s degree from a local school or an online paralegal course. While most paralegal education will stop after the associate’s degree is earned, there are some institutions that offer a bachelor’s and even a master’s degree in this field.
If you are in the process of deciding which course to take to become a paralegal, it is wise to choose a program endorsed by the American Bar Association (ABA). The ABA supports approximately 250 of the more than 600 programs that exist to train people in the profession of paralegal.
Many programs have internships available; it would be wise to take advantage of this program. This will allow you to familiarize yourself with the work that a paralegal does in conjunction with an attorney. Also look for a program that offers job placement, this shows that they believe in their graduates and support their knowledge.
Once your paralegal studies are completed and you have your paralegal certificate, it would be a good idea to get certified by the National Association of Paralegal. Most employers will not require it; It will make you stand out from other applicants. The Association has a set of standards that have been established for the 2-day course that tells potential employers that you are a professional.
As with any profession you are considering, it is important to do extensive research before beginning the course of study to become a paralegal. Talk to the people at the booth and ask lots of questions. However, if you choose this path for yourself, you have the opportunity to achieve two things. One, you will have a position that will always be in demand and you will be able to put your knowledge of the law to help people. Good luck.