State By State Requirements to Become a Lawyer

Paralegal Job Description in Oregon

The Oregon Employment Department Workforce Quality Info notes that in 2010, employment for paralegals and legal assistants in Oregon was larger than the statewide average for all other occupations. Through the next decade, the total number of paralegal/legal assistant job openings is expected to remain higher than the statewide average for job openings for all other occupations. If you would like to benefit from the increase in paralegal job openings in Oregon, keep reading.
 

Step 1

Get Paralegal Education in Oregon

Oregon does not set standards or mandates for paralegal education. Most currently employed paralegals and paralegal employers in Oregon agree, however, that specialized education is necessary if you want to become a paralegal in Oregon.

Oregon Paralegal Online and Campus Schools

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Washington University School of Law - Online Master of Legal Studies (MLS) Degree
Pepperdine School of Law - Online Master of Legal Studies Program

Paralegal education programs may be accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) but do not have to be. The following paralegal programs in Oregon hold ABA approval:

  • Portland Community College – Cascade Campus and Central (Portland) Campus
    • Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies
    • Certificate in Paralegal Studies
  • Pioneer Pacific College- Wilsonville
    • Associate of Applied Science  in Paralegal Studies

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Step 2

Earn Paralegal Experience in Oregon

Experience is key to becoming a paralegal in Oregon. There are many skills and day-to-day job duties that are best taught in the workplace. If your paralegal program in Oregon does not offer a paralegal internship, you should seek paralegal work experience on your own. Legal aid and pro bono offices in Oregon are a great place to gain this type of experience, namely:

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Step 3

Certification as a Paralegal in Oregon

Paralegals in Oregon need not become certified. The Oregon Paralegal Association, however, recommends certification for paralegals as a way of proving that you hold the highest skills and professional standards within the profession. It recommends certification through the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA), which offers two certifications:

  • PACE, or the Paralegal Advanced Competency Exam, is for advanced, skilled, experienced paralegals. You must have at least two years of paralegal experience to take the exam.
  • PCCE, or the Paralegal Core Competency Exam, is a designed for entry-level paralegals

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Step 4

Look for Paralegal Jobs in Oregon

Paralegal jobs in Oregon are found in non- profit organizations, government agencies, large and small law offices, businesses and in many other institutions. Examples of recent employers of paralegals in Oregon include:

  • David Evans and Associates- Portland
  • National Guard – Bend
  • Allstate Corporate – Portland
  • Jackson County - Medford
  • State of Oregon Department of Justice General Counsel Division – Portland
  • Harry &David – Medford
  • State of Oregon Department of Justice Civil Enforcement Division- Eugene
  • Oregon School Boards Association - Salem

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Step 5

Whats Next After Becoming a Paralegal in Oregon

Congratulations! You are now a qualified paralegal working in Oregon! Your next step should be to join the Oregon Paralegal Association, a great membership organizations for paralegals and legal assistants in Oregon. It can help in advocacy, networking and finding continuing legal education opportunities for Oregon paralegals.


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