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How long does it take to become a Paralegal?

By Zippia Team - Mar. 2, 2022

It takes 5 years of professional experience to become a paralegal. That is the time it takes to learn specific paralegal skills, but does not account for time spent in formal education. If you include the normal education requirements to complete a college degree, then it takes 8 to 10 years years to become a paralegal.

There are certain skills that you need to obtain in order to become a successful paralegal. Some of the most common skills are listed below. Along with each skill, we provide an actual example of how someone included the skill on their resume:

  1. Legal Advice -- Advised management on legal issues identified and research conducted and prepares draft legal documents for Senior/Executive Management approval and signature.

  2. Legal Documents -- Generate correspondence, status reports and legal documents Client contact Process authorizations Review and summarize medical records Billing Trial preparation

  3. Law Firm -- Provide paralegal support to law firm concentrating in plaintiff representation for personal injury, premises liability, and wrongful death litigation.

  4. Discovery Responses -- Interpreted legal documents; summarized discovery responses; reviewed, indexed, and summarized pleadings and correspondence produced by opposing parties.

  5. Medical Records -- Review, organize, analyze and summarize medical records for parties in preparation for mediation and depositions in pharmaceutical litigation.

Common Educational Background For A Paralegal

The education needed to be a Paralegal is normally a Bachelor's Degree. Paralegals usually study Legal Support Services, Business or Criminal Justice. 51.0% of Paralegals hold a Bachelor's Degree and 29.0% hold a Associate Degree. We found these by analyzing 81648 Paralegal resumes to investigate the topic of Paralegal education more precisely.

The most common colleges for students to pursue their goal of becoming a Paralegal are University of Phoenix and New York University. We also broke down what colleges provide the best overall education for a Paralegal. Students have a great path to earning their Paralegal qualifications at the following schools:

  1. Harvard University
  2. University of Pennsylvania
  3. Georgetown University

If you're interested in getting a college degree in an affordable college for Paralegals - Brigham Young University is an excellent option for you. If your SAT or ACT score aren't as high as you'd like, you can look at Barry University, as the admission requirements aren't too selective. On the other end of that spectrum are the Northwestern University, Harvard University and University of Pennsylvania.

For those who would rather stay in your pajamas during the day, we prepared some online courses that can help in Paralegal education paths.

Common Certifications For A Paralegal

The Certified Paralegal (CP) certification is most common among Paralegals. This certification is awarded by the National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc.. This certification is great to have as it shows an improvement in your competency to perform your role. You can earn this certification at the beginning of your career, as it often doesn't require a minimum education level and work experience. To become a certified Paralegal with Certified Paralegal (CP), You need to pass the exam. This certificate requires more than two years of work experience. Renew certification every 5 year.

How long does it take to become a Paralegal?

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