State By State Requirements to Become a Lawyer

Paralegal Job Description in Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Long-Term Occupational Employment Outlook for the decade from 2010 to 2020 by the Oklahoma Workforce Commission indicates that jobs for paralegals will increase by 20.75 percent during that decade. This is a favorable projection for an occupation that you can enter with the right combination of education and experience in Oklahoma. To discover how to become a paralegal in Oklahoma, read on.
 

Step 1

Commence Paralegal Education in Oklahoma

Education is voluntary in Oklahoma to become a Paralegal. You might find it difficult to qualify for a job without the skills or work experience needed. The Oklahoma Bar Association has compiled standards of qualification for paralegals in Oklahoma. Education is just one way to meet these suggested standards. They suggest that an Oklahoma paralegal meet one of the following criteria:

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  • Graduate from a non-ABA-approved paralegal education program that is at least 60 semester hours long and includes semester hours of legal specialty courses required by ABA guidelines, plus:
    • Complete an associate or bachelor degree in any field, OR
    • Have two years of legal work experience
  • Have a high school diploma and five or more years of legal work experience
  • Become nationally certified as a Certified Paralegal (CP) through the National Association of Legal Assistants or pass the PACE (Paralegal Advanced Competency Exam) given by the National Federation of Paralegal Associations. (see Step 3 below)
  • Graduate from an American Bar Association (ABA)-approved paralegal education program
  • Have an associate or bachelor degree in any field from an institutionally accredited program plus either:
    • Two years of legal work experience, OR
    • Complete semester hours of legal specialty courses required by ABA guidelines
  • Graduate from a non-ABA-approved paralegal program that is institutionally accredited and meets ABA approval guidelines

Currently, these paralegal programs in Oklahoma hold ABA approval:

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Step 2

Earn Paralegal Experience in Oklahoma

If your college paralegal studies program does not offer you a work experience internship, or you feel you would like to accumulate more work experience, you may wish to contact a legal aid agency in Oklahoma. These agencies work with low income Oklahomans who need legal advice and assistance, and often welcome the assistance of a paralegal student. In Oklahoma, they include:

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Step 3

Paralegal Certification in Oklahoma, If Desired

Paralegal certification in Oklahoma is optional. However, it is one of the ways to meet the minimum standards for paralegals suggested by the Oklahoma Bar Association. The OSA says that if you become certified through the National Association of Legal Assistants’ Certified Paralegal Exam (CP) or the National Federation of Paralegal Associations’ Paralegal Advanced Competency Exam (PACE), you have met what they define as minimum qualification standards for paralegals in Oklahoma.

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Step 4

Identify Paralegal Jobs in Oklahoma

Paralegal jobs in Oklahoma are found in larger cities and smaller towns with law firms, businesses, non-profit organizations, government agencies, and more. Possible employers of paralegal jobs in Oklahoma include:

  • Devon Energy Corporation – Oklahoma City
  • Department of the Interior Bureau of Indian Affairs – Muskogee
  • Moran and Associates – Oklahoma City
  • Vatterott Educational Centers – Warr Acres
  • Works & Lentz – Tulsa
  • GEICO- Oklahoma City
  • Bank of Oklahoma - Tulsa
  • Reed Elsevier – Oklahoma City
  • Brown Mackie College - Tulsa

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Step 5

After Becoming a Paralegal in Oklahoma

Well done! You have worked hard, studied hard and proven yourself a qualified paralegal in Oklahoma! Now, consider joining one of the following associations of paralegals in the state, for networking, continuing legal education and other career opportunities:

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