Do Paralegals Need to be Licensed?
Posted Wednesday, Dec 8, 2010 by
Do paralegals need to be licensed? Although attorneys need to be licensed in the states in which they practice, there is no such legal requirement for paralegals in the U.S. at this time.
Paralegals can, however, be registered or certified by national organizations dedicate to maintaining quality in that profession. While carrying no legal weight, such certification can be a strong plus on your resume if you’re looking for a job or negotiating for a higher salary.
The two major national organizations that certify professional paralegals are the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) and the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA).
NALA offers the Certified Legal Assistant (CLA) and Certified Paralegal (CP) designations. Both require applicants to have some formal paralegal training and to then take its two-day examination. Certified paralegals may then go on to earn the Advanced Certified Paralegal designation.
The NFPA offers the Paralegal Advanced Competency Exam, which is a four-hour test on an array of legal topics. Paralegals who pass this exam can call themselves PACE-registered and display the “RP” (Registered Paralegal) designation.
Certification from these private organizations is currently the only way to show employers and clients that you have achieved a high degree of professional competency. However, this may soon change as some states, led by Florida, are now seriously considering whether or not to formally license paralegals as they do with many other practicing professionals.
Earn Your Paralegal Degree Online
Everest University Online, a division of Everest University, offers an associate degree program in Paralegal. This two-year program, when completed, can qualify you to compete for most paralegal positions under a licensed attorney in both the public and private sectors.
- Introduction to Paralegal
- Criminal Procedure and the Constitution
- Legal Research and Writing (I & II)
- Contract Law
- Wills, Trusts and Probate
- Family Law
- Law Office Management
- Civil Procedure
For More Information
For more information on the associate degree in Paralegal program and other online career education programs, contact Everest University Online today!