State By State Requirements to Become a Lawyer

Paralegal Job Description in North Carolina

According to data gathered by the North Carolina Department of Commerce Division of Labor and Economic Analysis, job opportunities for paralegals and legal assistants in North Carolina are expected to grow by a rate of 2.2 percent from 2010 through 2020. This represents a total percentage increase of 24.5 percent for paralegal jobs in North Carolina in this period. If you are wishing to become a paralegal in North Carolina, this is great news. Keep reading to find out more about this exciting profession in North Carolina.
 

Step 1

Accomplish Paralegal Education in North Carolina

Although education is not mandatory for paralegals in North Carolina, many employers will not hire you without specialized paralegal education.

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Furthermore, if you plan to become a North Carolina Certified Paralegal (NCCP), you must graduate from an American Bar Association (ABA)-approved or North Carolina State Bar Board of Paralegal Certification-approved paralegal studies program. Degrees in other fields will not qualify you for NCCP certification.

Both the ABA and the North Carolina State Bar Board of Paralegal Certification approve these paralegal programs in North Carolina:

Just the North Carolina State Bar Board of Paralegal Certification approves these paralegal programs in North Carolina:

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Step 2

Obtain Paralegal Experience in North Carolina

Your paralegal studies or paralegal technology program might offer you the opportunity for paralegal work experience in North Carolina. If it does, take it. This valuable experience will help you in finding your career path as a North Carolina paralegal later. If your school does not offer this opportunity to you, you can still pursue it on your own. There are many legal aid and pro bono agencies in North Carolina that would welcome the help of a paralegal student, like:

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Step 3

NC Certified Paralegal (NCCP) (Optional)

In 2004, the North Carolina State Bar’s Board of Paralegal Certification came up with a Plan for Certification of Paralegals.  Certification in North Carolina is optional for paralegals, but recommended by the North Carolina State Bar and the North Carolina Paralegal Association. Certification indicates that you hold the highest ethical and professional standards as a North Carolina Certified Paralegal (NCCP). In order to become a NCCP, you must:

  • Be a legal U.S. resident
  • Have a degree in paralegal studies from an ABA approved or NC Board of Paralegal Certification-approved program.
  • Submit an Application for Paralegal Certification Exam and $125 fee, with your official transcript from your paralegal program

Examinations are offered biannually, in April and October. The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions and takes three hours to complete. Areas of law tested include wills, trusts and estate administration; real property; legal research; family law; ethics; criminal law; commercial law; and civil law. It is administered at these locations in North Carolina:

  • Pitt Community College, Greenville
  • Campbell School of Law or Meredith College, Raleigh
  • Guilford Technical Community College, Greensboro
  • UNC-Charlotte, Charlotte
  • South College, Asheville

If you pass the examination, you may use any of the following credentials to identify yourself:

  • North Carolina Certified Paralegal or NCCP
  • North Carolina State Bar Certified Paralegal
  • Paralegal Certified by the North Carolina State Bar Board of Paralegal Certification

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Step 4

Look For Paralegal Jobs in North Carolina

Now that you have completed your education, experience and optional certification, you are ready to find work as a paralegal in North Carolina. Paralegals do not just work in law firms or for private attorneys. They are also employed in businesses, non-profit organizations, and more, including:

  • Maitin Law Firm, PLLC- Raleigh
  • BB&T Human Systems – Winston-Salem
  • John F. Hanzel, P.A. – Cornelius
  • UNC Health Care – Chapel Hill
  • Crumley Roberts –Greensboro
  • Duke Energy- Charlotte
  • Cape Fear Valley Health System – Fayetteville
  • Smith Debnam – Raleigh
  • TIAA-CREF- Charlotte
  • North Carolina Office of State Personnel – Person County

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Step 5

You Have Become a Paralegal in North Carolina

Congratulations on becoming a paralegal in North Carolina! You have worked hard and your dedication has paid off. Think about joining a voluntary organization of paralegals in your area, such as the following:


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