Thank you for your interest in contacting Paralegal411. We regret that we cannot offer personalized advising or guidance to individuals. If you have additional questions that are not addressed in our FAQs below or elsewhere on our site, the best point of contact is typically paralegal associations in the state in which you wish to work or the admissions offices of colleges or universities that offer programs in your desired area.
If you are a representative from a school or organization and would like to submit a question or comment about our resources or work with us, you can email us (preferred method) at firstname.lastname@example.org or write to us at:
14419 Greenwood Ave N
Seattle, WA 98133
Frequently Asked Questions
Below you will find answers to some of our visitors’ most frequently asked questions, sorted by inquiries related to paralegal certification, finding paralegal programs, careers in the paralegal field, and international applicants.
What are the requirements to become certified as a paralegal?
Certified paralegals have typically completed at least an associate’s or bachelor’s degree and passed a proctored examination from a national certifying organization such as the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA) or NALA, the Association of Legal Assistants and Paralegals. In a select number of states, paralegals also must become certified by a governing agency such as the state bar or complete specific educational guidelines. See our guide to paralegal careers by state for more information.
Do I need a license to be a paralegal?
Only select states have guidelines that call for paralegals to meet specific education requirements or become certified or licensed. However, even in states that do not strictly regulate paralegal qualifications, many employers prefer to hire paralegals who have credentials from national associations such as the NFPA or NALA. Note that in all states, paralegals may only practice under the direct supervision of a licensed attorney.
Finding Paralegal Degree Programs
Can you send me a list of schools specific to the type of program I am looking for?
We do not maintain lists of programs other than those that are publicly available on our site. You can visit our paralegal programs guide to find information on schools and programs in your area. The National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator is another resource that allows you to find programs sorted by multiple criteria.
How can I enroll in your school?
As an informational resource, Paralegal411 does not offer courses or programs. Please see our schools directory for lists of schools by state. You can also check out our guide to paralegal degrees to find out more about associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs.
Working as a Paralegal
What careers are available if you have an associate’s or bachelor’s in paralegal studies?
An associate’s degree can open the doors to entry-level legal assisting work. However, in many areas, those who have a bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies or a related area find a greater number of job opportunities due to the growing complexities in the legal arena – especially due to the increasing reliance on proprietary software and technology in modern law offices. To get an idea of common requirements for paralegals in your area, it’s a good idea to check out job postings such as those on our jobs board. Attending a program approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) can also improve your job prospects.
Can you work as a paralegal if you have a criminal record?
Since paralegals work in the legal field, background checks are a common prerequisite to employment. While a criminal record may not explicitly bar you from working as a paralegal in all areas, it may present a challenge. Many aspiring paralegals find it helpful to seek job advice from local paralegal associations or bar associations, which can offer guidance on common requirements.
I attended a paralegal program overseas, how do I become a paralegal in the US?
If you attended school outside of the US, a credentials evaluation showing that your degree is equivalent to a paralegal degree in the US may make applying to paralegal positions easier. We recommend contacting individual employers for guidance on their requirements for prospective paralegals.