– A verified graduate from a paralegal studies course or academic program – A high school diploma – A minimum of seven years working experience as a legal assistant under an ABA-certified law firm or legal services department – Twenty hours of continuing legal education within two years before taking an examination The National Federation of Paralegal Associations 驾考学员飞越考场 吉普车冲进大海

There is an increasing demand for paralegal services in both private law offices and government institutions. Hiring a paralegal for small law firms proves to be a smart and money-saving pursuit as uncomplicated legal services can be solely performed by seasoned paralegal officers. Instead of delegating simple legal functions to lawyers, a more cost-effective means of finishing these tasks is by assigning paralegals to do the same quality of legal work. Moreover, paralegals are undoubtedly important employees in an office that delivers law-related services as they ensure the completion of majority of prep work and documentations for lawyers. It is undeniable that much of the success of a law firm lies in the competency and skills of its paralegal officers. The major job functions of a paralegal The following duties and responsibilities are known to be delegated to paralegal professionals: – Conduct interviews with clients – Constant communication with clients regarding case-related factual matters – Investigation of facts and documentations – Statistical research and law research – Acquisition and organization of affidavits and legal documents – Creating drafts and pleadings that are need for case proceedings It is quite obvious that paralegals function as assistants to lawyers since most of the aforementioned duties are performed by lawyers as well. With the exception of practicing law, seasoned paralegals have the ability to perform basic legal services for clients as well. Paralegal Requirements There is no solid list of requirements that aspiring paralegals need to meet in order to work in law firms and public offices. However, employers in general prefer hiring individuals that have paralegal educational background. There are organizations that offer certification to paralegals, but test taking is currently voluntary. Those who successfully took certification programs by organizations like the National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc. are known to be favored by larger law offices and government organizations. Before any certification exams can be given, aspiring individuals take paralegal certification courses in college. There are universities and colleges that offer paralegal courses to high school graduates and working individuals who are seriously considering of switching professions. Bachelor Degree in Paralegal Studies A Bachelor’s Degree in Paralegal Studies is the most common educational degree that current paralegals took prior to working. The four-year course may be too long for a lot of aspiring legal assistants, but more and more law offices prefer hiring those with a bachelor’s degree than those who completed an associate’s degree or certificate program. One of the advantages of taking up a Bachelor’s Degree in Paralegal Studies is the fact that they are given in-depth and extensive paralegal training, thus giving them the advantage of being promoted for higher positions in the future. Associate’s Degree Almost 35% of working paralegals completed an Associate’s Degree in Paralegal Training. This type of educational program is most commonly available in vocational schools and community colleges. The coursework of students taking up an associate’s degree is divided into two general education subjects and legal concepts. The associate’s degree is completed within two years and can be continued to a bachelor’s degree if a student chooses to undergo intensive legal education and training. Paralegal Certification Programs Individuals who have finished associate or bachelor’s degree from other fields of study take advantage of paralegal certificate programs that are offered by universities and colleges throughout the country. Certificate programs can last from three months to 24 months. It’s the easiest program to obtain minimum requirements to work as a paralegal. Master’s Degree in Paralegal Studies To obtain an advanced paralegal knowledge and skills, those who have the luxury of time obtain advanced paralegal degree programs. A Master’s Degree in Paralegal Studies is commonly offered by colleges and universities that offer 4-year degree programs. A master’s degree usually takes two years to complete. Interested individuals who take advanced paralegal programs are working paralegals who want to excel in their careers and would like to assume bigger responsibilities in the field of law. If you are seriously considering on becoming a paralegal in the future, make sure to do the appropriate research with the school where you wish to enroll. It is recommended to pass an application for enrollment to a university or college that is certified by the American Bar Association (ABA). Majority of law firms operating in the country prefer applicants who graduated from ABA certified tertiary schools. The National Association of Paralegals, Inc. is also issuing professional designation to those professionals who have successfully passed their certification exam. The designation, Certified Legal Assistance (CLA) or Certified Paralegal (CP) is given to those who were able to pass the specialty exams that NALA regularly gives out to interested paralegal professionals. In order to take the certification exam of the NALA, an individual should be: – A verified graduate from a paralegal studies course or academic program – A high school diploma – A minimum of seven years working experience as a legal assistant under an ABA-certified law firm or legal services department – Twenty hours of continuing legal education within two years before taking an examination The National Federation of Paralegal Associations, Inc. (NFPA) also offers certification programs for paralegals. The Paralegal Advanced Competency Examination or PACE offers the professional designation, Registered Paralegal or RP to those who pass their certification exam. In order to take the certification exams of NFPA, an individual should have about the same eligibility requirements as those who desire to take the NALA’s certification exam. The only difference is that NFPA only require its test takers to have at least three years working experience as a legal assistant. Paralegal officers who are given professional designation from either or both NFPA and NALA are known to have more opportunity for professional growth in the work setting. They are most likely to be eligible for promotions as well as salary increase and financial bonuses. 相关的主题文章:

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