Paralegal Certification – FAQ

Welcome to our new, Paralegal Certification FAQ pages.  You can check through our paralegal certification questions to find exactly what you need to know about becoming paralegal certified.  You can also send us your own questions about obtaining paralegal certification by emailing us at:  [email protected]

The development of paralegal certification programs, the general growth in the profession, the range of different options for obtaining paralegal qualifications, the plethora of online and offline paralegal studies courses means there is often some degree of confusion among those seeking information about obtaining paralegal studies and a paralegal qualification.

With our paralegal certification FAQ we want to help you find a fast, practical and helpful answer to your questions about obtaining paralegal certification.

So, let’s look at what you need to know.

Questions:

What is the difference between paralegal certification and paralegal associates degree programs?

What is the difference between a paralegal and a legal secretary?

 What is the difference between working for the federal government and a private law practise?

 What is the difference between paralegal certification and paralegal associates degree programs?

A:   When seeking a paralegal certification qualification, which usually takes less than a year, as distinct from a paralegal associate degree or paralegal associate degrees program, many people become confused about the difference between the two.

You need to know that most paralegal certification programs are delivered via post-graduate study programs where the student already has a BS.  Many of those undertaking study for paralegal certification have either a Bachelors degree or an Associates degree and for them obtaining a paralegal certificate will generally be sufficient to serve their career requirements.  However, for those who have no college degree to their name it will potentially be considerably harder for them to obtain a job as a paralegal if they just possess a paralegal certificate.

The situation is of course different if the student has considerable, practical law office experience and for many paralegals this is the case as many already come from law office or similar backgrounds.  However, as the profession develops and becomes more attractive to more people it is increasingly important for those without experience to obtain the very best qualification they can.  Added to this requirement is the desirability of obtaining a qualification from an ABA-approved college or course.  Some employers will not consider a paralegal unless they have ABA-approved qualifications.  That is not to say there are not good non-ABA-approved programs, but as a rule paralegals should try and obtain ABA-approved qualifications.

 

 

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