How to Become a Paralegal
For the last 30 years, paralegals have become more and more popular, and many people think of becoming paralegals themselves. How to become a paralegal?
Determination, open mind, creative thinking and hard work can do wonders. Paralegals these days have the same work as lawyers but they are not officially lawyers. Most of the paralegal’s job is behind the scenes.
“I Want to Become a Paralegal, and I’ll be Great”
Attorneys would like you to be able to get the job done. They don’t really care about certifications or degrees. On the other hand, there are plenty of new paralegals every year who apply for the jobs, so the attorneys find themselves in a good position to hire the best ones according to background. Most of the attorneys will choose their paralegals by experience, character and knowledge. Logically, it’s a good decision.
In order to compete with the other candidates for the job, most of the paralegals these days learn as much as they can. If a person wants to become a paralegal, they’ll have to do their best and be a hard worker. For this exact reason, when people ask Matt Kazav, an experienced attorney, how to become a paralegal, he says:
“Go through the courses, learn as much as you can and learn from others. Then, look in the mirror, tell yourself – I want to become a paralegal and I’ll be great! Now search for open jobs and apply. Tell the interviewer what you told yourself in the mirror; show him that you know what you’re doing and that you took the courses. It’s so simple. The hard part is proving yourself.”
The Better Your Education is, the Higher You Get Paid
In order to become a successful paralegal and get the Paralegal Certificate, you will have to choose between one of the three paths: 4-year bachelor’s degree, 2-year associate degree, or a shorter course that can be done online, via the internet. You should always take into consideration that the higher your education is, the higher you get paid. As a new paralegal, the only way to evaluate you is by your education. Later on, your experience will be taken into consideration, just as in any other career.
If you already have a college degree, most certificate programs can help you become a paralegal faster. Those who can, will offer you intense courses that will teach you only what you need to know – how to become a paralegal. People with college degrees already have all those general academic courses; there is no reason to repeat them. This way, the certificate can be given in a matter of months instead of years.
To become a paralegal, the candidate must have high ethical standards and must be able to research and absorb lots of information in a very short time. Paralegals are often given more responsibilities and require less managing when they gain experience. Seasoned paralegals that operate in big law offices, commercial legal divisions, or government departments can manage and assign projects to other paralegals.