How Long Does It Take To Become A Paralegal (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Up to 7 years

Paralegals are a great support for lawyers. The paralegal may work in both government and private law firms. These paralegals are not fully qualified as an advocate or lawyers but would help in legal researches and work.

The paralegal would play a vital role in performing the tasks required for making the legislation understandable to people for its better execution. For becoming a paralegal, the person is supposed to pursue degrees and the time for all the types of degrees would be different.

The paralegal needs to have a great understanding of legal science. The paralegal is a vital part of the legal team dealing with any case. The attorneys would trust and depend on the paralegals for winning any case. The paralegals need to be perfectly skilled in doing legal researches for various legal proceedings.

Becoming a paralegal would depend on what kind of degree the person is going to achieve. If someone covers both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree, then the time would be around 7 years.

How Long Does It Take To Become A Paralegal

How Long Does It Take To Become A Paralegal?

ParalegalTime
In years7 years
In months84 months

The time to become a paralegal depends on the mode and type of degree. The aspiring paralegals can also go for virtual or online degree programs. Some hybrid degree programs may get competed before the in-classroom program gets completed. People can also go for legal certificates programs which would be for a few months.

Everyone can complete their associate degree in just 24 months. The bachelor’s and master’s degrees together would take around 7 years. If someone wants to get the legal certificates, then the time would be different. As people need to appear for the examination to pass the desired legal certification program.

Everyone can become a paralegal with a bachelor’s degree if they gain all the knowledge required for becoming a paralegal. People can go for a master’s degree to get more knowledge about the legal field after completing the bachelor’s degree.

Many people do master for improving their research skills which are not fully possible in a bachelor’s degree. Paralegals are required to be good at organizing and legal research skills. The paralegal should be an active listener before writing legal content.

Critical thinking skills are very important for paralegals as they need to critically analyze complex legal problems. Public speaking is another vital skill required for becoming a paralegal. Paralegals are known for their perfection in judgment making. The paralegals should be emotionally intelligent and practical at the same time.

People can also try to pursue state or national-level certificates for becoming more eligible for becoming a paralegal.

Why Does It Take This Long To Become A Paralegal?

The paralegals need to provide correct details, and work assignments, as the attorney, completely rely on them. The paralegals are also supposed to provide the researches relevant to the case. The paralegals would be responsible for finding precedents relevant to the present cases. The drafting is to be done by the paralegals.

Therefore, they must know how to write reports and draft petitions or agreements. The civil documents are supposed to be prepared by the paralegals, and they’re also responsible for conducting interviews with the clients. The paralegals may have to interact with the witnesses for getting clarity about the thought.

The bachelor’s degree contains many types of subjects relating to law that has to be completed. In integrated law, the introduction of specialization has increased the time of degree. The law students can complete the integrated law in 5 years and then they can complete their masters in just 2 years.

Many students do internships for 6 to 12 months to gain good knowledge about the legal field. This may add one more year to become a paralegal. The time required for becoming a paralegal would be different for people with different types of degrees.

Conclusion

The time for becoming a paralegal depends on the type of degree, time for completion of the degree, and personal preferences. Many people skip doing internships or certification courses. If someone skips taking additional legal training or courses, then it would decrease the time for becoming a paralegal.

The course structure of the institution or college for completion of the degree would be different.

References

  1. https://heinonline.org/hol-cgi-bin/get_pdf.cgi?handle=hein.journals/howlj19&section=20
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0305750X18300275
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