State By State Requirements to Become a Lawyer

Paralegal Job Description in Alaska

Becoming a paralegal in Alaska involves more than simply assisting lawyers and attorneys in performing their jobs. Alaska paralegals have the responsibility of upholding local, state and federal laws and having thorough knowledge of the legislation and the legal system. Ethics that exist among Alaska paralegals, as set forth by the Alaska Association of Paralegals, include modules of professional conduct and professional responsibility. Paralegals in Alaska are an important part of the legal and judicial system of the state. To discover how to become an Alaska paralegal, read on.
 

Step 1

Obtain Your Paralegal Education in Alaska

Education is vital to becoming a paralegal in Alaska. Paralegal schools will give you the tools, knowledge and skills necessary to succeed as a paralegal in Alaska. Some paralegal schools in Alaska are accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA), while others are not. It is not mandatory to attend an ABA-accredited paralegal school in the state of Alaska. Courses in a typical Alaska paralegal studies program include:

Alaska 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
Rasmussen College - Online Paralegal Associate Degree and Post-Degree Certificate Programs

  • Introduction to American government
  • Civil procedure
  • Paralegal Ethics
  • Politics and the Judicial Process
  • Criminal Law for Paralegals
  • Contracts/Real Property
  • Administrative and Employment Law for Paralegals

The American Bar Association Paralegal Approved Program Directory lists paralegal education programs that have been approved by the ABA. You need not attend an ABA-approved paralegal program, but some future employers might look more favorably upon your resume and transcript if you do.  Additionally, if you attend an ABA-approved paralegal school this could benefit you if you ever search for paralegal work in another state. As of December 2013, two paralegal educational programs in Alaska hold ABA approval. They are:

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Step 2

Attain Work Experience in Alaska

Some paralegal programs in Alaska offer students the chance to complete internships or practicums, which allows them to work in the paralegal field while attending school. If your school does not provide such an opportunity, you might want to consider working for a pro bono or legal services group in Alaska to gain experience. Examples of places in Alaska where you could earn paralegal experience include:

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Step 3

Become a Certified Paralegal in Alaska, If Desired

Certification for Alaska paralegals is voluntary but is highly recommended by the ABA and its approved paralegal schools in Alaska. There are many options for certification. Some of the most popular in Alaska include:

  • National Association of Legal Assistants
    • Certified Paralegal (CP)- you must pass an examination on these subjects:
      • Ethics
      • Communications
      • Legal Research
      • Judgment and Analytical Ability
      • Substantive Law:
        • Business Organizations
        • Contracts
        • Civil Litigation
        • American Legal System
      • Tests are given at PSI Premier PLUS Test Centers, which in Alaska include:
        • Mobile
        • Huntsville
        • Birmingham
        • Montgomery
    • Advanced Certified Paralegal (ACP)- for those who already hold CP certification- you must choose from the following courses for this curriculum-based certification:
      • Business Organizations – Incorporated Entities
      • Alternative Dispute Resolution
      • Trial Practice
      • Social Security Disability
      • Discovery
      • Contracts Management and Administration
      • Business Organizations – Noncorporate Entities
      • Family Law- Division of Property and Spousal Support
      • Real Estate Principles
      • Family Law- Child Custody, Support, Visitation
      • Commercial Bankruptcy
      • Criminal Litigation
      • Land Use
      • Personal Injury
      • Trademarks

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Step 4

Find Employment as a Paralegal in Alaska

Paralegals in Alaska work in a variety of settings, from business to nonprofit to law firms. Popular employers of paralegals in Alaska include:

  • Alaska Institute for Justice – Anchorage
  • Cook, Schuhmann & Groseclose, Inc. - Fairbanks
  • Cascadia Cross Border Law Group – Anchorage
  • The Devadoss Law Firm, P.L.L.C. - Ketchikan
  • Harbor Adjustment Service – Anchorage
  • Wohlforth, Brecht, Cartledge & Brooking, P.C. –Anchorage
  • Guess & Rudd, P.C. – Fairbanks
  • Blanch Law Firm, P.C. - Juneau

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Step 5

Now That You’ve Become a Paralegal in Alaska

Kudos to you! You have completed the necessary education and experience and are now a full-fledged paralegal in Alaska! Think about becoming a member of an organization such as the following, as membership can help you in networking and advancement in your career:

Vera Institute of Justice - Alaska




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