There’s a great job market for paralegals all over the nation. If you’re in Kentucky and wondering how to make a career change into the legal field, there’s no better place to start than becoming a paralegal in Kentucky. Here’s how.
Is Earning a Kentucky Paralegal Certification Required?
There are several ways to become a paralegal in Kentucky. For individuals who have been working as a paralegal for many years but have never been certified, the process starts with enrolling in a certification program that has been approved by the Kentucky State Bar Association. There are different certification programs to choose from so it is important to know what your goals are. If you are just starting your journey as a legal professional, you may want to enroll in a paralegal degree program. Choosing an accredited program is in your best interest to ensure you get the best possible education.
Once you have completed your educational program, you will need to look for work that will give you the hands-on experience you need. The job you choose must also provide you with the number of hours you will need to earn prior to taking your state-mandated paralegal certification test. Once you have met the requirements to take the test, you will need to schedule an appointment and pay the necessary fee. You will be given a date and time to take your exam. After taking your test, you will receive a letter stating whether or not you passed your test. If you passed, you will be able to move forward with your career. If you did not pass, you will have to reschedule your test and take it again.
What Role Does the Kentucky State Bar Association Play?
The Kentucky State Bar Association is responsible for maintaining the highest standards of quality when it comes to the legal profession and how it functions within the state of Kentucky. The Kentucky State Bar Association evaluates certification and degree programs to ensure that they meet the highest standards in terms of quality content and educational requirements. All educational programs are required to meet strict standards that ensure students have access to the knowledge and skills they will need to be successful paralegals or attorneys in the state of Kentucky. Graduates of certification programs and legal degree programs can begin looking for work immediately after graduation. By finding a job prior to taking their state test, they are able to gain valuable hands-on experience they can use in the future.
The Kentucky State Bar Association also is responsible for all certification and state-mandated testing in regards to licensing to practice law in the state of Kentucky. Once a student has completed their education for their desired profession, either paralegal or attorney, they must then pass a certification or licensing test to be able to work professionally in their chosen field. Paralegals must sit for the state certification test, while attorneys must pass the State Bar exam. In order for a paralegal to take the test, they must be able to work in the field and earn hands-on experience. This allows them to continue to learn and advance their skills while waiting to take the state certification test. The more hours the graduate has in terms of hands-on experience, the better off they will be when it comes time to take their state tests. The Kentucky State Bar Association keeps a close record of all your continuing education so that you know exactly what you need each year to keep your certification current.
What Are the Kentucky Paralegal Requirements?
To work as a paralegal in Kentucky, you must be certified by the state bar association and be earning experience while you are on the job. The first step is to enroll in a certification or degree program that has been approved by the Kentucky State Bar Association. As you work to complete your degree program, you may be able to find work in a law firm or other legal office. You may even be able to find work within the judicial department of your local government. Earning experience at this point is extremely beneficial and will ensure that you have the skills and abilities you need to successfully complete your certification exam.
Once you have earned the required number of hours, you can apply with the State Bar Association to take the paralegal certification test. After you pass the test and become certified, you will need to take a specific number of continuing education courses each year to maintain your certification and keep it in good standing. Continuing education classes are designed to provide you with the latest information and enable you to stay up to date with the latest trends. Classes can be taken through certification refresher courses or you can return to school to advance your degree.