The 3 Steps To Becoming A Paralegal
Do you feel like you were meant to pursue a legal career, but you do not want to handle the front-and-center task of addressing the judge, jury, and witnesses yourself? Your calling might just be to become a paralegal.
A paralegal is a highly-valued member of any legal team because of their extensive knowledge of the law. Their duties include case planning, legal research, document analysis, client conferencing, and fact-checking.
Are you interested in joining a top Philadelphia criminal defense firm as a paralegal? This article will discuss how you can fulfill such a dream.
Step 1: Get Your Paralegal Education
The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania did not set criteria for mandatory education for paralegals in the state. However, if you plan to further your studies and become a Pennsylvania Certified Paralegal (PaCP), you must follow strict schooling regulations.
Below are some of the accepted educational routes if you seek certification:
- A bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies from an American Bar Association (ABA)-approved program and one year of relevant work experience as a paralegal
- A bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies from an ABA-approved program and one year of relevant work experience as a paralegal
- A bachelor’s degree in any subject from an accredited institution and three years of relevant work experience as a paralegal
Step 2: Get Your Certification (If Desired)
Becoming a PaCP is strictly voluntary and is not necessary to work as a paralegal in the state. However, once you get your PaCP credentials, you can set yourself apart from other non-credentialed professionals.
Below are some criteria for becoming a certified paralegal:
- Must be a legal U.S. resident.
- Must achieve consecutive years of relevant paralegal work, as legally required.
- Must submit a declaration with a licensed Pennsylvania lawyer with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
- Must work as a paralegal.
Call Brennan Law at 215-568-1400 for more information on qualifications, fees, and certification steps.
Step 3: Practice Continuous Learning
As with any profession, continuous learning is necessary if you want to further your career. For instance, we recommend joining a paralegal member association in Pennsylvania, like the Philadelphia Association of Paralegals.
Additionally, if you decide to become a PaCP, you need to complete your required continuing legal education (CLE). You need 12 CLE credits every two years.
Become A Paralegal Now
Becoming a paralegal can be exciting, especially when you join the right team. It offers career longevity, substantial pay, and a prestigious and certified title. Aside from the occasional long hours during legal proceedings, you can also enjoy a mostly predictable work schedule.
Are you ready to become a Pennsylvania paralegal? We would love to help you achieve your career goals. At Brennan Law Offices, we boast over 25 years of experience helping the citizens of Philadelphia and others throughout the state with an extensive range of criminal defense issues.