State By State Requirements to Become a Lawyer

Paralegal Job Description in Colorado

While Colorado does not have any laws governing the use and duties of paralegals, the Colorado Bar Association has published its Guidelines for the Utilization of Paralegals. In this document, the Colorado Bar Association outlines 21 specialty areas of practice in which paralegals may work in the state. They include bankruptcy, juvenile litigation, social security disability law, immigration law, environmental law, trust and estates, water law, real estate, and many more. Becoming a paralegal in Colorado is an exciting prospect, with all of these specialties available in which to work. If you would like to discover how you could become a paralegal in Colorado, keep reading.
 

Step 1

Take Paralegal Education in Colorado

Colorado paralegals are not required to complete any sort of mandatory education, by law. However, with the vast knowledge and skills needed by paralegals, it is virtually impossible to become employed as a paralegal in Colorado without completion of a paralegal education program.

Colorado 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

The American Bar Association (ABA) accredits some programs in Colorado. ABA accreditation is not mandatory for Colorado paralegal programs, but if you decide to seek certification later, sometimes graduation from an ABA-accredited paralegal program makes this process easier. The following paralegal schools in Colorado do not hold ABA accreditation but are recommended by various paralegal associations across the state:

Two paralegal schools in Colorado currently offer programs that do hold ABA accreditation:

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Step 2

Consider Volunteer Work Experience in Colorado

The paralegal program in Colorado that you attend might offer you the chance to gain real-life work experience in a law firm or other setting in which paralegals work. If it does not, you might want to consider seeking volunteer work experience in Colorado in a paralegal setting. Work experience can help to make you more marketable to employers and can also assist you if you decide to pursue certification. Examples of areas in which you could volunteer to gain work experience in Colorado include:

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Step 3

Pursue Certification as a Paralegal in Colorado

Under Colorado law and statutes, paralegals need not be certified in order to legally work in the state. Some of Colorado’s leading paralegal organizations and associations promote certification as a way to make yourself stand out among paralegals without certification. The most popular certifications sought by Colorado paralegals and sponsored by the National Federation of Paralegal Associations include:

  • Paralegal Core Competency Exam (PCCE) - passing this entry-level exam will give you the credentials of CRP (CORE Registered Paralegal). In Colorado, the exam is offered at Prometric Test Centers in:
    • Grand Junction
    • Colorado Springs
    • Longmont
    • Greenwood Village
  • Paralegal Advanced Competency Exam (PACE) - designed for paralegals with work experience, passing the exam will give you the credentials Registered Paralegal (RP). The exam tests the following areas:
    • Office Administration
    • Factual and Legal Writing
    • Factual and Legal Research
    • Development of Client Legal Matters
    • Administration of Client Legal Domains

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Step 4

Start Your Career as a Paralegal in Colorado

You have many choices when it comes to deciding where to work as a paralegal in Colorado. You might opt to begin your career search with one of the state’s major law firms, or you might seek employment in a business or nonprofit setting. Examples of employment settings for Colorado paralegals include:

  • Farmers Insurance Group – Denver
  • National Guard – Colorado Springs
  • Perkins Coie – Denver
  • CoBank – Greenwood Village
  • Faegre Baker Daniels- Boulder
  • J.F Shea Co., Inc. – Highlands Ranch
  • Native American Rights Fund – Boulder
  • Gibson, Arnold & Associates, Inc – Denver
  • MWH Global - Broomfield
  • Polsinelli, P.C. -Denver

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Step 5

Now That You’re a Paralegal in Colorado

Congratulations! You have earned the right to refer to yourself as a paralegal in Colorado! You might want to consider joining a voluntary membership organization for paralegals in Colorado, such as:

Additionally, if you hold PACE or PCCE certification, remember to complete the necessary continuing education to maintain your credential. Those who are PCCE CRP or PACE RP certified must complete 12 hours of continuing legal education (CLE) every two years. This must include one hour of ethics.



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