Follow the step by step process on how to become a paralegal below:
The South Dakota Legislature has set minimum requirements that all paralegals and legal assistants in the state must meet. These include education, experience or national certification. Aspiring paralegals who wish to work in South Dakota must meet qualifications by fulfilling one of these requirements. We will go over each option in turn in this document.
One way in which aspiring South Dakota paralegals can meet the South Dakota Legislature’s requirements to work as a paralegal or legal assistant is through education.
South Dakota Paralegal Online and Campus Schools
If you choose the educational route, you must complete one of the following:
These paralegal/legal assistant education programs in South Dakota are ABA-approved:
Some of the educational requirements in Option 1 above require that you have a certain amount of paralegal work experience, gained under the supervision of a licensed attorney. A great place to find this kind of experience is through pro bono or legal aid agencies. In South Dakota, these include:
Another way to fulfill the paralegal qualification requirements of the South Dakota Legislature is to pass the Certified Paralegal (CP) (formerly known as the Certified Legal Assistant, CLA) exam of the National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc. This exam is designed for paralegals who are new to the field. It tests your knowledge of substantive law on:
Additionally, the exam tests your knowledge and skills in judgment and analytical ability, legal research, ethics and communications. Passing the exam gives you the right to use the credentials CP (Certified Paralegal) behind your name. It also fulfills South Dakota’s requirements for qualification for paralegals.
Jobs for paralegals in South Dakota are available within law firms, for-profit corporations, non-profit corporations, and within many other areas. Recent employers of paralegals in South Dakota include:
Congratulations! You are now a full-fledged paralegal in South Dakota! If you haven’t already, think about joining the South Dakota Paralegal Association, the state’s only association for paralegals and legal assistants. This organization can help you find continuing legal education, if necessary; network with other legal assistants and attorneys; and advance your career opportunities.
Lawyer Career Specialties