There are several ways to become a paralegal in New Mexico. Earning a degree is the most efficient way. It is also highly recommended that anyone who chooses to pursue a career as a paralegal pursue some type of degree or certification program. While the degree isn’t always necessary, a person must have some way of showing that they are qualified for the job. This can come in the form of earning a certification from a nationally recognized organization like NALA or the NFPA.
An applicant can also apply for a paralegal position if they have enough experience in the field. To become a paralegal in New Mexico without proper certification or a degree in Paralegal Studies, an applicant must possess a high school diploma as well as at least seven years of experience working in the legal field. This experience must have been earned while working under the direct supervision of an attorney whose license was in good standing. It is essential that the experience earned was in the form of performing paralegal duties and tasks that directly assisted the attorney.
Do I Need a Bachelors or Masters Degree from an ABA-Approved College/University?
One of the best ways to become a paralegal in New Mexico is to graduate from an ABA-approved college or university with a degree in Paralegal Studies. An ABA-approved university offers graduates all of the skills and abilities that are needed to fulfill the duties that a paralegal is responsible for. The degree programs are developed to meet or exceed the quality of education that is expected for the legal profession. Although it is not a requirement to become a paralegal in New Mexico, earning a bachelor’s or Masters degree is strongly recommended.
Obtaining a bachelor’s or Master’s degree enhances the graduates’ chances of finding employment in whatever legal capacity they choose. Choosing an online degree program makes it possible for them to finish their education while they work a full-time job. Being able to earn on-the-job experience while in school is a great way to enhance and reinforce what is being taught. Taking the initiative to earn a degree also shows the employees’ drive and commitment to move forward with their careers.
How Much Experience Do I Need to Become a Paralegal in New Mexico?
If you choose to obtain a degree in Paralegal Studies and become certified, your need for experience is minimized. Although you didn’t get your knowledge through hands-on learning, you did earn it through study and commitment. In New Mexico, experience is looked at as a valuable commodity. If an applicant has at least seven years of experience performing the duties of a paralegal or other legal professional, they can apply for and be hired into a paralegal position.
Individuals who rely on their experience to become a paralegal must have worked under a state-licensed attorney and performed the duties and responsibilities of a paralegal over the course of their years of employment. With this type of substantive experience, employers can rest assured that the person applying for the paralegal position is already well-versed in their new role and knows what is expected of them. Individuals who have worked in the paralegal field for many years can get credit for their experience by becoming certified by either NALA or NFPA. Nationally recognized organizations offer certifications to individuals who can pass the ABA-approved certification exam and prove they have the knowledge and skills to work in the field.
What are the Benefits of Becoming a Certified Paralegal in New Mexico?
The benefits of becoming a certified paralegal in New Mexico are extensive. A degree or certification gives you the credibility that comes along with being able to prove you have completed the necessary course requirements that are needed to work in the paralegal field. Certification also shows that you are current and continually staying up to date on all of the latest trends and advancements in the paralegal field. The continuing education requirements that must be met each year guarantee that you are doing what is needed to keep up with the times.
Becoming a certified paralegal in New Mexico also means increased opportunities for advancement and a potential increase in your wages. Certification in New Mexico means that you have met the standards for the industry and are a valuable asset in terms of both knowledge and skills. Higher earnings and the ability to enter the workforce at secondary level positions are excellent benefits that come with being certified by an organization that is recognized nationally.