The first step in becoming a paralegal in Alaska is to earn a degree in paralegal studies. The right degree program will provide all of the skills that are required to perform the duties for that position. As a paralegal student, you will be taught the basics of managing a law office, how to create legal documents, and also how to conduct interviews and depositions. You will be given the knowledge that is required to pass certification exams and be licensed by organizations like the Alaska Paralegal Association.
Although Alaska does not require a paralegal to maintain certification, it is in your best interest to become certified. Certification can open many doors for you that will lead to opportunities for advancement in your company as well as higher wages. Certification provides you with documentation that proves that you have learned the skills and abilities that will be needed for maximum proficiency. It also gives future employees the confidence they need to provide you with additional responsibilities.
How to Become a Paralegal in Alaska?
There are no Alaska paralegal requirements for certification, however, the Fairbanks Association of Legal Assistants does encourage paralegals throughout the state to become certified or receive their license voluntarily. The Alaska Association of Paralegals and the Fairbanks Association of Legal Assistants work with graduates as well as those who work in the field and are considering earning a paralegal degree to become certified. The choice to become certified or obtain a license is a personal one. Choosing to do so is a great way to gain an advantage over others who are also applying for paralegal positions in your area.
Certification offers many benefits and will increase the number of opportunities that are received throughout the student’s career. The chance to earn higher pay as well as the possibility of being offered a managerial position are just a few of the benefits a student can look forward to over the course of their career. The more knowledge and skills a student possesses, the more responsibility they will have in making the office function more efficiently. Receiving a certification or license is one of the fastest ways to move forward, especially if they have been working in the field for several years.
Get Your Certification
The National Federation of Paralegal Associates, the Alaska Association of Paralegals, and the Fairbanks Association of Legal Assistants can provide graduates with all of the information they need to become fully certified and licensed to work as a paralegal in the state of Alaska. Although no certification or license is required, it is extremely beneficial for a student to obtain their credentials especially if they want to continue to advance in their career. Individuals who have been working as paralegals can return to school and earn either a degree or a certificate that will help them to gain additional skills.
Many universities and colleges also offer certification programs for graduates who earn a degree in paralegal studies. Graduates who take the time to move forward and receive their certification are normally the ones who are considered first when it comes to opportunities for advancement within their firm or company. Certification programs are much shorter than conventional degree programs. Many paralegal studies degree programs offer the option to test for certification once the student graduates.
Continue Your Education
Even if a paralegal has worked in the field for several years, receiving a certification or license is always beneficial. With the additional skills and knowledge, they may now be eligible for different types of legal work within their office. They may also be eligible for managerial positions they would have not been able to apply for in the past. Certifications and licenses are not required to work in the state of Alaska, but they are recommended for any paralegal who is trying to solidify their future as a leader in their field.
Individuals who have already been certified can find many continuing education programs and degree options that will assist them in advancing their careers. Most certification programs require a specific number of continuing education hours each year to keep them current and in good standing. This offers them opportunities to stay abreast of new trends in the field of paralegal studies. It may also provide them with additional skills they need to be more efficient in managing others in their office. By taking the opportunity to further their education, they are laying the groundwork to move forward when new job openings are posted.