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Becoming a Paralegal
If you are looking for an exciting and rewarding career in the legal industry, becoming a paralegal can offer you the perfect opportunity. The work is challenging and the outlook for paralegals and legal assistants is very bright.
The largest employers of legal assistants are, of course, law firms. Many companies, however, are choosing to have an in-house legal department rather than retain outside counsel. This will lead to an increase in the demand of legal workers in industries such as finance, insurance, consulting and healthcare. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of paralegals is expected to rise by 17% by 2022. In Texas, the mean annual wage is $52,670. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Paralegals and Legal Assistants, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/legal/paralegals-and-legal-assistants.htm)
The licensing requirements vary slightly in every state. According to the State Bar of Texas, in order to earn paralegal certification, an individual must take an examination administered by one of three organizations:
- National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA)
- National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA)
- Texas Board of Legal Specialization (TBLS)
Becoming a Board Certified Paralegal in Texas
Paralegals and legal assistants can improve their employment prospects by becoming a board certified paralegal in distinct areas of the law. The Texas Board of Legal Specialization (TBLS) offers an examination to certify paralegals in the following areas:
- Personal Injury Law
- Civil Trial Law
- Family Law
- Real Estate Law
- Estate Planning and Probate Law
- Criminal Law
TBLS sets the requirements to be eligible to sit for this examination. The application period begins in January and the test is administered in the fall of each year.
Interested? Call us for more information!
Arlington Career Institute can provide you with the training you need to begin your legal career with our Paralegal/Legal Assistant program in Dallas/Fort Worth. Graduates can be prepared to sit for the licensing exam in as little as 10 months.
If you would like to know more about the Paralegal program at Arlington Career Institute, call 800-394-5445.
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