How to Become a Paralegal in New York

Thinking about how to become a paralegal in NYC? It’s likely that you have some questions about certifications that will legally qualify you to do your job. Read on for the answers to some frequently asked questions from people who are interested in satisfying paralegal requirements in New York.

What are the paralegal requirements in NY?

Let’s talk about how to become a paralegal in New York. You don’t need a law degree, but you will likely need at least an associate’s degree in paralegal studies. If you’re wondering how to become a certified paralegal in NY, enrolling in at least a two-year paralegal studies program is where you’ll get your start toward your new career. The Empire State Alliance of Paralegal Associations is working toward standardizing required education for paralegals, but no standardized requirement has been passed yet. Most law firms require that their applicants have at least their associate’s degree, or similar experience as a practicing paralegal.

Breaking it down: How to become a certified paralegal in NY

If you’re wondering about paralegal requirements in NY, you’re in luck: there currently aren’t any. Your employer will name you a paralegal. There isn’t a certification or license from the state that gives you your title. You’ll need to talk with your employer about the continuing education they require for you to keep your paralegal status at their office.

Are online schools acceptable?

Absolutely! Employers recognize that many people who are interested in how to become a paralegal in NYC take their classes online. Online paralegal education is respected, and gives you the opportunity to learn at your own pace. Many employers are especially impressed with students who are able to balance their paralegal education while working a full-time job. Doing so shows that you’re able to manage your time, multitask, and that you are dedicated to furthering your career.

Is there help to pay for my paralegal education?

If you’re already working at a full-time job and are interested in getting your education as a paralegal, talk to your supervisor about whether they’ll fund part or all of your education. Many employers offer tuition reimbursement programs for employees who want to go back to school. Some employers will cover all of your tuition, while others cover a portion. There may be certain contingencies in order to keep your tuition funding, such as maintaining a satisfactory rating at work or maintaining a certain GPA in your classes. Your employer will talk with you about the requirements before disbursing your tuition assistance funds.

Does my school need to be ABA certified to meet paralegal requirements in New York?

Since there are no current requirements in order to be a paralegal in New York, your school does not necessarily have to be American Bar Association certified. If you’re interested in learning more about how to become a paralegal in NY, it’s a good idea to look at job descriptions for paralegals at the firms with which you’re interested in seeking employment. Find out if they require their paralegals to have an education from an ABA certified school.

Whether this is a requirement for your dream job or not, it’s a good idea to make sure your school is ABA certified. This ensures that you’re getting a rigorous, high-quality education. An ABA certified school will also serve you well if you choose to advance your career by going to law school or taking the bar. Even if an ABA certified education is not a requirement for your new job, your employer will appreciate that you took your education seriously and found a reputable institution to learn how to become a paralegal in NYC.

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