How Do Paralegals Become Certified
Employment experts usually agree that for any specialized position, employers are looking for the best applicants for the best careers who have a great combination of education, work experience, and possibly even some sort of other credentials such as certification. This is probably also true for paralegals, and you may be wondering about how to find information about how paralegals become certified. Paralegals are highly-trained experts in assisting other colleagues and law professionals in litigation procedures and other legal matters. The United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, one of the foremost authorities on employment and career data, expects the strong demand for these professionals to continue in the long-term future.
It is important to note that not every employer requires their paralegals to be certified, but this can increase the competitiveness of any applicant by a significant margin for the same position. When you learn the details about the certification process, you are bound to learn about the Certified Legal Assistant (CLA) and Certified Paralegal (CP) certifications. These are awarded by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA).
Other organizations exist for those wanting to learn more on how paralegals become certified. The American Alliance of Paralegals, Inc., Registered Paralegals, the National Association of Legal Secretaries, and the National Federation of Paralegal Associations are all reputable, paralegal certifying bodies. They should all maintain quality websites where you can find more information about the processes involved for each certifying body.
Increasingly, becoming certified just once in a discipline is becoming less common in the sense that continuing education and frequent re-certification requirements are popular. Some states might require their paralegals to complete a set number of hours of study and may require an exam a few times at some point in the future. Since this is a position that exposes one to highly sensitive information, it is probably safe to assume that one can expect to undergo some type of ethics or sensitivity training. When you learn about how paralegals become certified, you might find that some can complete work for these credentials through a distance education or online program.
Not every employer requires certification. It is often voluntary and may be based on a paralegal’s level of education and work experience. It should also be pointed out again that each state and perhaps even each employer or firm might have somewhat different expectations and requirements regarding paralegal certification. You can also talk to any existing professional paralegals you know about what they think on how paralegals become certified. Remember that certification is important and can make you a very competitive applicant for the same position, but you should also round out your body of experience on your resume to add your education, work experience, achievements, and organization memberships when presenting yourself to a future employer. Perhaps a few of these ideas can help you learn more about paralegal certification and how paralegals become certified.