Paralegal certification can be attained in various ways. For some, studying at their local college to achieve an associate degree will be the right way forward. For those who already hold a bachelors degree, perhaps in an unrelated field, they may be able to qualify as a paralegal quicker. They could study for a paralegal certificate and may get credit for their existing qualifications. It is certainly worth checking into.
Don’t get caught up in becoming over qualified. Because this is a professional role in the legal profession, some people believe you need at least a bachelor’s degree, some even believe a master’s degree is the entry point. This is not the case. You can become a legal assistant much quicker and start earning not to mention gain valuable relevant work experience. In the past, it was usual for legal assistants to learn while working for their employer. You may be able to find some firms that will train you from scratch but this would be unusual. Most prefer you to have at least some relevant experience as well as some formal education.
You can combine the subject areas you need to cover to become a paralegal with other subjects if you want to complete a four year degree. But you may find that an online specialist paralegal program or a two year legal assistant degree is more worthwhile. Don’t just study for any paralegal certificate program as some are more valuable than others. You may hear you can qualify in less than six months and this could be true but only if you have either lots of relevant work experience or have an existing college degree. Do your research to find out what the best paralegal certification path is for you. The quicker you complete your paralegal studies the sooner you start earning and it is worth remembering that some roles in this profession pay in excess of $50,000 per year. Some pay an awful lot more.