Follow the step by step process on how to become a paralegal below:
According to data gathered in May 2012 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), New Jersey is the third-highest paying state in which paralegals work. That year, they averaged a mean salary of $58,050. This salary can be increased by paralegals in New Jersey who obtain additional education, experience and certification, as New Jersey currently has no mandates for paralegals in these areas. To discover how to become a paralegal in New Jersey, read on.
Most New Jersey employers prefer that paralegals hold a certificate, associate or bachelor degree in paralegal studies, criminal justice or a closely related field.
New Jersey Paralegal Online and Campus Schools
American Bar Association (ABA) approved paralegal programs are popular in New Jersey. However, because New Jersey does not mandate education or training for its paralegals, attendance at an ABA-approved program is not necessary, nor is attendance at any paralegal program necessary. Some New Jersey employers of paralegals prefer to hire graduates of ABA-approved programs. Attending some type of paralegal program, regardless of its approval status, is recommended for paralegals in New Jersey.
The following paralegal programs in New Jersey are ABA-approved:
Your college or university paralegal studies program in New Jersey will likely offer (or require) you to take a paralegal work experience externship/internship. This experience will provide you with knowledge and the day-to-day skills of a working paralegal. If your school does not provide this wonderful opportunity, you may still pursue volunteer work experience on your own. These legal aid agencies in New Jersey would probably welcome the help of a paralegal student:
Developed by the South Jersey Paralegal Certification, the New Jersey Certified Paralegal (NJCP) credential is an optional credential for paralegals working in New Jersey. It is designed as a benchmark for paralegals in the state. In order to become a NJCP, you must be a member of the South Jersey Paralegal Association and meet at least one of these criteria:
To apply for NJCP certification, you must complete an application form and mail it, along with supporting documentation and $35, to South Jersey Paralegal Association, P.O. Box 355, Haddonfield, NJ 08033.
Paralegals in New Jersey do not only work in law firms or with legal practices. They are also found in corporations, government agencies, academic institutions, nonprofit agencies and more, such as the following entities in New Jersey:
Congratulations! You are now a paralegal working in the state of New Jersey! If you are a NJCP, remember to maintain your credential correctly. It must be renewed every two years. During each two-year period, you must complete 12 hours of continuing legal education (CLE), with at least two hours in ethics. Only courses on substantive law issues and tasks pertinent to the paralegal profession will be accepted. CLE is accepted from in-person or online courses or activities such as:
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