Follow the step by step process on how to become a paralegal below:
The Empire State has the fourth-highest concentration of jobs for paralegals and legal assistants in the United States as of May 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. That year, there were 23,890 paralegals and legal assistants working in New York, averaging a mean wage of $53,570. If you would like to find out how to become one of them, read on.
The ESAPA notes that if you wish to enter the paralegal profession in New York, you should have an associate degree or hither in paralegal studies. It says that possessing a degree in another field does not prepare you to work in the paralegal field in New York.
New York Paralegal Online and Campus Schools
Although the legislators of New York have yet to set education standards for paralegals in New York, the Empire State Alliance of Paralegal Associations (ESAPA) has recommended that they be established. In its Position Statement on Paralegal Education Standards in New York State, the organization outlines what it thinks should be educational requirements for paralegals in New York. These are the educational criteria that they say potential employers of New York paralegals seek in new employees. Therefore, it is recommended that you, as a prospective paralegal in New York, follow these recommendations as well.
There are two types of paralegal programs in New York – those approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) and those not approved. The ESAPA recommends attending an ABA-approved paralegal program, as it helps prepare you more thoroughly to work as a paralegal in New York, although approval is not mandatory. ABA-approved programs in New York include:
Your paralegal program in New York should offer you the opportunity to gain paralegal work experience while still a student. If it does not, you should seek out such experience on your own. A good place to start looking is within the many legal aid and pro bono legal associations across New York. These organizations will usually welcome the volunteer help of a paralegal student, while you will gain valuable experience providing to others less fortunate than you. Such organizations are:
National certification is optional for paralegals in New York. However, the ESAPA promotes certification for New York Paralegals. In its general information paper, Paralegal Regulation in New York State, it proposes the idea of establishing a New York State Certified Paralegal program. If approved, paralegals would have to meet one of the following criteria in order to become a NYS Certified Paralegal:
This proposal was submitted in 2010 and as of January 2014 has not yet been adopted by the state of New York.
New York is home to many international corporations, quality academic institutions, non-profit organizations and law firms, all of which hire paralegals as needed. Examples of recent employers of paralegals in New York include:
Kudos! You are now a paralegal qualified to work in the Empire State! Think about joining an association of other paralegals and legal assistants within the state or in your area. They include:
Lawyer Career Specialties