Follow the step by step process on how to become a paralegal below:
The Connecticut Department of Labor expects job opportunities for paralegals and legal assistants to increase by 14.2 percent statewide from 2006 to 2016. Paralegals may work in a variety of legal areas in Connecticut, including (but not limited to) family law, bankruptcy, intellectual property, estate planning, real estate, employment law, intellectual property law and environmental law. In Connecticut, as in most states, paralegals cannot provide legal services directly to the public but may work under the supervision of a licensed Connecticut attorney. To discover how to become a paralegal in Connecticut, read on.
Connecticut imposes no state requirements on education for prospective paralegals. However, most employers of paralegals in Connecticut will not hire candidates who have not graduated from a paralegal education program.
Connecticut Paralegal Online and Campus Schools
The program may be accredited by the American Bar Association or may not hold this accreditation. If you plan to seek national certification as a paralegal further down the road, you might want to consider taking paralegal education at an ABA-accredited school. Regardless of its accreditation status, courses that you can expect to take in a Connecticut paralegal program include legal writing, legal research, the legal system, intellectual property law, family law, the Constitution, the court system, civil litigation, wills and probate.
As of December 2013, the following Connecticut paralegal programs hold ABA accreditation:
Most ABA-accredited paralegal education program in Connecticut will require that you complete some type of internship program, in which you will gain valuable work experience in the paralegal field while still a student. If you desire to seek additional experience on your own, pursuing a volunteer or pro bono paralegal job in Connecticut is often looked upon favorably by employers later in your career. Examples of organizations that can help you to find these types of work experiences in Connecticut include:
Experience and education seem to mean more to Connecticut employers of paralegals, as most job listings for paralegals in the state specify experience and a certificate or degree as the necessary prerequisites. If you decide that you would like to become nationally certified, there are a few certifications offered by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) that are widely accepted. They are:
Once you have completed your education and gained some experience, you are ready to search for a paralegal job in Connecticut. Remember, paralegals are not only hired by law firms in the state, but also by corporations, schools, non-profit organizations and government agencies. Examples of potential employers of paralegals in Connecticut are:
Kudos to you! You have completed a rigorous educational program, gained experience and may now refer to yourself as a paralegal in Connecticut! Think about joining a voluntary membership organization, which can assist you in advancement in your career, networking and other opportunities:
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