The Paralegal Career

Topics: Licensure, Paralegal, Law school Pages: 4 (1268 words) Published: October 9, 2006
When I first thought about becoming a paralegal, I was in high school reading my civics book. I had also just become interested in John Grisham novels, which, granted, don't truly represent the legal field in the most correct light, but they are legal thrillers nonetheless. For some reason the combination of these two things made me think about pursuing a career in the legal field. I knew for certain that I did not want to go to law school, since I am not really a classroom-oriented person. So, I concluded that a paralegal would be a happy medium. I had already taken a course at the University of Hartford, and had heard about the legal studies program. I found myself a job in a local law firm, and enrolled in classes. So here I am now, writing a paper on the career that I now find myself eagerly pursuing.

The book raised many issues that I had never really given much thought to. Issues such as licensing, certification, and registration; educational requirements; and the conflicting positions of the two leading national paralegal associations. While I knew that there were no required licenses to become a paralegal, I never really thought about how that affects the career as a whole, and the issues it raises as far as determining who is really a paralegal, and who is just a glorified legal secretary. I had actually given a lot of thought to what the educational requirements would be and what employers would value more: education or experience. Some told me to pursue the degree, others told me to concentrate on getting experience and everything else would fall into place along the way. I didn't really know which person to listen to, or who was really right. With regard to the two associations, I was surprised to read that they hold conflicting positions on certification and the like. I think it makes more sense to build a united front reflecting the view of everyone who is a paralegal. I plan on discussing these things in further detail throughout...
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