How To Become a Paralegal in 6 Steps (With FAQs)
Becoming a paralegal is a great way to launch a career in the field of law. Paralegals are responsible for providing support to attorneys and performing a variety of legal tasks. If you’re interested in becoming a paralegal, here are the steps you need to take:
1. Earn a Degree – The first step to becoming a paralegal is to earn a degree from an accredited college or university. A two or four-year degree in paralegal studies is typically required.
2. Take a Certification Test – After completing a paralegal program, you will need to take a certification test. The National Association of Legal Assistants offers several certification exams, including the Certified Paralegal Exam and the Paralegal Advanced Competency Exam.
3. Gain Experience – After earning your degree and certification, you will need to gain experience in the legal field. Many paralegals intern at law firms while they are in school or take entry-level jobs to gain experience.
4. Join a Professional Organization – Joining a professional organization, such as the National Association of Legal Assistants, is a great way to stay informed on the latest developments in the legal field and to network with other professionals.
5. Develop Your Skills – Paralegals must have a variety of skills in order to be successful, so it’s important to develop your skills in areas such as legal research, writing, and computer software.
6. Seek Employment – Once you have earned your degree, certification, and gained experience, you can start looking for a job as a paralegal. Many paralegals work in law firms, but you can also find employment in corporate legal departments and government offices.
Q: What is the job of a paralegal?
A: A paralegal is responsible for providing support to attorneys and performing a variety of legal tasks, such as legal research and writing, interviewing clients and witnesses, preparing documents, and filing paperwork.
Q: What qualifications do I need to become a paralegal?
A: To become a paralegal, you will need to earn a degree in paralegal studies from an accredited college or university. You may also need to take a certification test and gain experience in the legal field.
Q: What are the most important skills for a paralegal?
A: Paralegals need to have strong communication and organizational skills, as well as a thorough understanding of the legal system. They must also be able to conduct legal research and write legal documents.