A paralegal certificate is quite valuable in today’s professional world. To earn a paralegal certificate, you must first graduate from a paralegal training program. Offered as an associate’s degree in business colleges, and as a bachelor’s or post-baccalaureate certificate in universities, a paralegal certificate opens many doors for those intending to work in the law side of business.
You Choose What to Do as a Paralegal
You’re probably wondering, “What can I do with a paralegal certificate, anyway?” It’s helpful to know that the certificate doesn’t need to be a stand-alone paralegal study— in fact, most paralegal certificates are tied to a number of liberal art undergraduate degrees such as:
- The fine arts
- Political science
- The humanities
- Social sciences
You may be wondering why many general education majors would be interested in the Paralegal field in the first place. However, its’s common to see English majors follow the path of paralegal studies after obtaining a bachelor’s degree. A paralegal certificate is indicative of developed communication, reading and writing skills. If you’d like to reach a higher level of professionalism, you can enter specific paralegal areas as part of the above-mentioned post-baccalaureate certificate program.
The National Association of Legal Assistants is responsible for giving graduates their paralegal certificates. In holding a certificate, you are qualified to take part in the legal aspects of your desired career field. This can include the management of legal research, analysis, technology and writing.
Paralegals in Different Fields
So, is a paralegal certificate worth it? We feel it is. Once you’ve earned a paralegal certificate, you can work in a multitude of positions. The most prominent areas for paralegals are listed below.
Paralegals in Private Law Firms
Paralegals are incredibly valuable in private law firms. Responsible for conducting heavy research, managing litigation, handling real estate, handling businesses and managing family law, a private law firm paralegal certainly has a lot of options available.
Paralegals in Corporations
In a corporation, a paralegal can serve as an in-house attorney. This job position is responsible for providing professional legal guidance, document preparation and legal review. Many corporations have entire paralegal teams—teams which assure all industry, and legal, structures are adhered to.
Paralegals in Government
Paralegals are also important in government. If you have a paralegal certificate, you can work for the Social Security Administration, The Department of Justice, the Department of the Treasury or the Department of Labor. You can also work as part of a court system, a private government agency or in smaller legal departments.
Paralegals in Education
Paralegals can also teach other paralegals. Once you have a paralegal certificate, you can work as an associate’s degree program professor. If you don’t want to travel the typical paralegal path, teaching others to become effective legal providers is still very rewarding.
Paralegals in Non-Profit Organizations
Non-profit organizations need paralegals, too. Paralegals can work in legal aid programs, helping the financially disenfranchised, victims of domestic violence and victims of assault. Because non-profit organizations are powered by activism, they require a firm foundation in law to succeed and help the disenfranchised seek relief.
Obtaining a paralegal certificate may take time, but the journey is certainly worth it. Whether you’d like to work as a law firm’s administrative assistant or as a government employee, taking the paralegal’s path is an incredibly bountiful endeavor.