There are several steps to becoming a paralegal in Georgia. The first step is to get an education that meets the requirements for a paralegal certificate. While you are attending school, it’s a good idea to find a job that will provide you with experience in the legal field. Finding a job as a clerk or researcher in a legal office is a good example. You may want to look for optional paralegal certification in the state of Georgia that will allow you to advance your career and attend school at the same time.
The next step is to apply for paralegal jobs wherever you would like to work. Legal offices, county judicial systems, and independent law firms are always looking for paralegals who are ready to put their best foot forward when trying to build their careers. Individuals who earn a paralegal degree can find work in many different areas as legal assistants or investigative researchers who help attorneys build their cases.
Paralegal Requirements in Georgia
The only real requirement to become a paralegal in the state of Georgia is to hold a certificate or degree. Most certification or licensure programs require a solid working knowledge of what it takes to be a paralegal. There are several certification programs that are offered by colleges and universities in the state of Georgia. Any of these programs will give you what you need to pass your certification test and find work as a paralegal in a legal or judicial field.
Earning a degree in paralegal studies is much easier now than ever before. You can enroll in an online degree program that will allow you to continue working while you earn your degree. Online paralegal degree programs give you an opportunity to explore your career as you expand your knowledge base. You can even take courses that will allow you to move toward becoming an attorney if you decide you want to advance in that direction later on in your career.
Online Paralegal Programs in Georgia
Your education is the foundation on which you will build your career. Choosing a solid online paralegal program in Georgia means finding one that will give you the direction you need. ABA-approved paralegal programs will provide you with all of the information you need to become certified and find work in a reputable legal office. With the right education, you can build a solid career that will allow you to pursue all of your goals. It will also give you a chance to possibly advance your career and become an attorney.
Online paralegal programs in Georgia make it possible for students who are already working in the legal field to pursue their education and receive their degrees. Online paralegal programs offer the same quality curriculum and resources as those that would be received if they attended a class on campus. Attending class online offers many benefits over and above being able to work and gain experience. While experience is important, it’s essential that the student be able to learn in an environment in which they can thrive.
Learning in an online environment gives students who suffer from anxiety an opportunity to earn their diplomas and gain a quality education. They can study when it is most convenient for them and in a place where they feel safe and secure. An online paralegal program also provides students with a chance to connect with their instructor one on one and work their way through obstacles they may experience as they attend class.
ABA-Approved Paralegal Programs in Georgia
ABA-approved paralegal programs in Georgia are given the seal of approval by the American Bar Association. The ABA has strict standards when it comes to degree programs and their ability to provide students with a level of education that is needed to be effective in the legal field. For paralegals and attorneys, the ABA seal of approval is a must if they expect to receive a quality of education that is respected by other legal professionals. Many attorneys will give paralegals who have earned an ABA-approved paralegal degree a second look if they have higher than average grades and are capable of exhibiting their skills in an internship or mentorship program.
The ABA has a stringent process for accrediting online and campus paralegal degree programs. Programs must meet strict standards in order to be approved by the organization. This approval, however, shows prospective students that the degree program is capable of providing them with the skills and knowledge they will need to be proficient in every aspect of their position. They will be given a quality education that exceeds the standards set by legal professionals.
Certification and Licensure
Certification and licensure are extremely important for paralegals who want to find a job. While many states have their own certification and licensure programs, most will honor those granted by paralegal associations found across the country. Paralegal associations offer testing programs that are able to test the knowledge of students who have just completed a paralegal degree program. Certificates and licensing offer students who are still in school a chance to validate what they already know so they can start working prior to their graduation.
Paralegals who have worked in the legal field for many years can take a licensure or certification examination to validate the experience they have gained during their careers. Years ago, individuals could begin to work as a paralegal right out of high school. They did not have to attend college in order to get a job. Their willingness to learn on the job and work hand in hand with attorneys made them good candidates for attorneys who maybe couldn’t afford to hire a college graduate. Their eagerness to succeed in the legal field was all they needed.
Paralegal Certification in Georgia
There are two main paralegal associations in Georgia. They are the Georgia Association of Paralegals and the Atlanta Paralegal Association Inc. Both organizations strive to improve the job market for paralegals throughout the state of Georgia. While there are national paralegal associations, organizations within the state can provide adequate certification for students who want it to advance their careers. Paralegals do not have to be certified by both organizations. They can choose the one that is best suited for their needs.
The National Association of Legal Assistants offers certification and licensing programs as well as continuing education opportunities for students who need them. By supporting a paralegal’s professional development, the NALA is able to provide them with all of the resources they will need to continue to advance in their legal career. The continuing education courses are necessary to maintain their certifications and licenses. The courses also keep the paralegals up to date on all of the latest advancements within the industry.
Georgia Paralegal License
There is no Georgia Paralegal “license”, so to speak. Once a paralegal has earned their degree and taken their state certification test, they have received the credentials they need to be successful in their chosen career field. While paralegal licenses are available in other states, the tests that are used to verify a student’s level of knowledge are similar for both certifications and licensure. Most states will honor a paralegal certification if it is earned through a national organization. If the certification is earned at a state level, a reciprocation agreement may be needed in which both states agree to honor certificates earned in the other state.
Licenses and certifications offer students written proof that they have excelled in their chosen field of study. While a diploma will show that they passed the necessary courses to earn their degree, a certification or license proves that they gained the knowledge they need to effectively do their job and be successful at it. Students who earn a certification or license will often be considered for advanced positions much sooner than graduates who have only obtained a degree. Even though their level of knowledge may be similar, the certification or license validates a student’s current knowledge and their ability to apply it.
Job Market and Salary
In Georgia, paralegals who have been properly certified at either the state or national level can look forward to earning approximately $50,000 to $60,000 per year as they continue to gain experience. They can earn even more if they pursue legal specializations in areas where attorneys need the most assistance. There are several areas of law in which a paralegal can excel. Criminal law, family law, corporate law, probate law, as well as many other specializations allow paralegals to focus on one particular area of expertise.
The job market for paralegals in the state of Georgia is excellent, especially if a student has advanced in a particular specialization and has passed a certification or licensure exam at the state or national level. These two factors alone will allow a student to advance their career and increase their earning potential over time. The more experience they earn as they continue on with their career, the more likely they are to be considered for top-line promotions. This could possibly lead to managerial or supervisory positions in their office. New positions often lead to more responsibilities and a higher pay scale.
Paralegal Jobs in Georgia
There are many places to find paralegal jobs in the state of Georgia. While the most common option for many is to be hired by an attorney or large law firm, those are not their only options. Paralegals can apply for positions in community courts as well as county and state government offices. They also have the option of working in law libraries or with organizations like the American Bar Association or the National Association for Legal Assistants.
Paralegals can find work in many different types of offices. Some may be able to find work in corporate offices helping a large company’s legal team with contracts, negotiations, and many other types of legal proceedings. This type of work is often less stressful than working with attorneys who regularly appear in court or go to trial. It is up to the paralegal to choose what type of work environment they prefer. For most paralegals, being able to work in an environment in which they feel most comfortable will allow them to thrive and explore new options as they become available.
Some paralegals may offer to work remotely and perform tasks for smaller attorneys who may not be able to hire full-time staff person. Both sides gain an advantage and are allowed to grow from the experience. This makes it possible for the paralegal to work for several attorneys at once. Although they will have to watch out for conflicts of interest, it will give them a chance to learn about many different types of law. They can use that information in the future to pursue other career opportunities in which they can continue to advance. Opportunities for advancement mean additional opportunities for higher pay as well.
Different Careers for Paralegals in Georgia
There are many different careers for paralegals in Georgia. Paralegals who have years of experience can often find jobs at local universities or colleges as educators. By becoming a teacher, even if it is only part-time, paralegals are able to offer students a unique perspective they will not gain from a textbook. The knowledge gained by the student is not only based on studies, it is also backed up by experience. Students are able to ask questions and receive answers that stem from real situations, not hypothetical conjecture.
When a student chooses to become a paralegal, they take steps that could possibly lead them in many directions. Many paralegals gain enough knowledge and experience over time that they return to school and complete their law degrees. The education they receive as a paralegal allows them to choose many different career options. They may also look into management positions as well. By pursuing a specialization, they can open the door to numerous opportunities and will only be limited by the boundaries they create for themselves.