State By State Requirements to Become a Lawyer

Paralegal Job Description in Louisiana

Like most states, Louisiana does not define nor regulate the paralegal profession. Optional certification exists that requires education or experience, but getting paralegal training is up to you, the Louisiana paralegal student. Because of the vital legal work performed by paralegals in Louisiana while assisting attorneys in all fields of law, gaining some type of specialized education is virtually a must. If you would like to see for yourself how to become a paralegal in Louisiana, keep reading.
 

Step 1

Complete Paralegal Education in Louisiana

Specialized post-high school education is not required for paralegals in Louisiana. However, many employers of paralegals will not hire anyone who is not a graduate of some type of college program, whether it is an American Bar Association (ABA)-approved paralegal studies program, a non-approved program, or a degree program in another field.

Louisiana Paralegal Online and Campus Schools

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ABA-approved paralegal studies programs in Louisiana are:

  • Tulane University – New Orleans
    • Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies
    • Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies
    • Minor in Paralegal Studies
    • Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Paralegal Studies
  • Louisiana State University – Baton Rouge
    • Certificate in Paralegal Studies
  • Herzing University –New Orleans
    • Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies
    • Associate of Science in Legal Assisting/Paralegal

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Step 2

Accrue Paralegal Work Experience in Louisiana

If you completed an ABA-approved program of paralegal studies, you likely completed an internship as part of the requirements. If you did not, it is a good idea to find your own paralegal work experience opportunity in Louisiana, either on a paid or unpaid basis. Gaining experience before entering the work force is vital to getting the best paralegal jobs in Louisiana. Places to look in Louisiana include:

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Step 3

Become a Louisiana Certified Paralegal

The Louisiana State Paralegal Association created a new, optional certification system for paralegals in the early 1990s. This certification is wholly optional for Louisiana paralegals. To qualify for the state’s certification examination, you must either already be a Certified Legal Assistant or Certified Paralegal (CLA or CP) through the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) (which involves passing NALA’s examination) or meet one of the following criteria:

  • Be a graduate of an American Bar Association approved paralegal studies program, or of an associate degree or post-bachelor’s certificate program in paralegal studies, or of a bachelor’s degree program in paralegal studies containing at least 60 semester hours, 15 of which are substantive legal courses,

OR

  • Hold a bachelor’s degree in any discipline plus a year of paralegal work experience,

OR

  • Hold a high school diploma plus seven year of paralegal work experience, along with 20 hours of continuing legal education in the two years prior to taking the examination

The Louisiana Certified Paralegal examination is held over a two-day period. The Louisiana State Paralegal Association announces dates and times of the exam annually. The LCPexam tests the following sections:

  • General law, including:
    • Structure of Louisiana state court system
    • Jurisdiction of Louisiana state court system
    • Duties of officials working within court system
  • Civil procedure, including:
    • National litigation
    • Louisiana litigation
  • Louisiana legal ethics

Additionally, you must choose four substantive law topics from this list of eight topics. You will be tested on the four topics you choose:

  • Business organizations
  • Contracts
  • Family law
  • Torts
  • Evidence
  • Criminal law and procedure
  • Probate, wills, trusts and successions
  • Property

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Step 4

Find Work as a Paralegal in Louisiana

Louisiana paralegals are found within law groups, private law practices, larger corporations and smaller businesses. Examples of Louisiana employers of paralegals could include:

  • Stuart & Associates - Metairie
  • Ochsner Health System – New Orleans
  • National Guard  - Shreveport
  • Zurich North America- Metairie and Grand Isle
  • Pye Legal Group – Baton Rouge
  • Saucier Law Firm- Camp Beauregard
  • Butler and Hosch – Baton Rouge
  • The Penton Law firm – Bogalusa
  • Allstate Corporate - Shreveport

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Step 5

You’ve Become a Paralegal in Louisiana

Good work! You are now a paralegal in Louisiana! If you are a Louisiana Certified Paralegal, remember to maintain your certification through completing continuing legal education every five years. You must complete 2.5 CLE units of Louisiana substantive and/or procedural law, plus .5 CLE units of ethics courses every five years.
Consider joining a Louisiana organization for paralegals, such as the following:

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