How Do I Become a Paralegal in Pennsylvania?

If you are interested in becoming a paralegal, you’re in great company. Especially for those who are interested in becoming a paralegal in Pennsylvania, the benefits of doing so are as follows:

Why Should I Become a Paralegal in Pennsylvania?

  • Variety of Work: One of the top benefits of becoming a paralegal in Pennsylvania is that it makes it possible for you to take on jobs in a variety of sectors. For instance, you can work for banks, corporations, government agencies, and private law firms throughout the state of Pennsylvania.
  • Job Stability: Additionally, given the nature of this career track, becoming a paralegal can be a great job for those who are seeking a career with stability. In other words, paralegal work is such an important part of the legal system, that these jobs will always be plentiful as long as the legal system exists.
  • Salary: Although many people seem to be under the impression that working as a paralegal is not a good-paying job, this is not necessarily the case. In fact, the mean annual salary for paralegals is between $51,480 and $77,000 per year.
  • Job Outlook: If you are interested in becoming a paralegal in Pennsylvania, you will enjoy a positive job outlook. In particular, given that many law firms in the state are focusing on finding the best ways to minimize the costs of legal services, paralegals will be taking a more involved role in the Pennsylvania legal system.

What Skills are Required to Become a Paralegal?

If you are interested in becoming a paralegal, you should possess the following skills:

  • Computer Skills: Since being a paralegal requires working with lots of documents, research, etc., you must be relatively computer savvy to successfully work as a paralegal for the long term.
  • Communication Skills: Given that working as a paralegal requires you to communicate with clients and professionals of all kinds, having the ability to effectively communicate is essential to being able to maintain this position over time.
  • Interpersonal Skills: Additionally, since working in the legal field involves talking to people from all walks of life in order to extract the resources and information you need, you must be able to establish rapport with people and communicate with them on topics of all kinds.
  • Organizational Skills: Given the number of things that paralegals must be able to keep track of a wide variety of people, documents, resources, etc., you will be expected to be exceptionally organized to maintain one of these positions.
  • Research Skills: As a paralegal, one of your top tasks will be conducting research. Paralegals must be skilled in conducting research in a manner that is accurate, quick, and efficient.

How Do I Become a Paralegal in PA?

Given that there is no one way to become a paralegal in PA, some people who wish to take this career path may be confused in terms of Pennsylvania paralegal requirements. Nevertheless, there has been plenty of recommendations made by both the American Bar Association and the Bar Association of Pennsylvania, in terms of the general things those pursuing this career path need to accomplish. If you are interested in becoming a paralegal in Pennsylvania, you need to complete the following steps:

  1. Requirements: In order to become a paralegal in Pennsylvania, you must meet the minimum requirements. This means you must be over the age of 18 as well as a legal citizen of the United States. Additionally, although it is not a requirement, it is strongly recommended that those who are interested in becoming a paralegal become certified in with the Keystone Alliance of Paralegals.
  2. Education: Although there are various paths to becoming a paralegal in Pennsylvania, the path you take depends on your circumstances and career goals. Either way, it is becoming increasingly more common for those who wish to become a paralegal in Pennsylvania to enroll in educational programs for paralegals. For instance, while a bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies is not required, acquiring one is highly advised by the American Bar Association (ABA). 
  3. Certification: Additionally, although certifications in Pennsylvania are voluntary, it is recommended that paralegals of Pennsylvania become certified with the Keystone Alliance of Paralegals.

Experience: Depending on your level of education, between one and five years of experience is required to become a full-time paralegal. Either way, you must be in compliance with whatever specifications your potential employer has expressed. In other words, those who are interested in working as a paralegal in Pennsylvania need to research their potential job prospects, as well as organizations such as the Pennsylvania Bar Association in order to know how much experience is required before applying for the position.

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