In this contemporary era, many New Jersey residents have decided to pursue a career as a paralegal. If this is the case for you, it’s important to attain a thorough understanding of how to begin work in the field. Use the short outline below to obtain the information you need:
There are no statewide requirements for paralegal certification in the state of New Jersey. However, there are several certification programs that state residents can enroll in to obtain educational and experiential benefits that make one a stronger job candidate and more competent employee. Two of the certification programs include the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA) and the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA). These certification exams have educational requirements. The requirements can be completed by a combination of field experience, paralegal education, and general education. Obtaining certification is recommended because the national credentials are accepted as a standard of excellence. Those who hold the title of “certified paralegal” will typically maintain a competitive edge during the job search process.
The state of New Jersey has no official educational requirements that residents have to complete in order to work within the field. However, the majority of employers prefer to work with paralegals who have a degree. There are a wide range of degree programs available in the state, some of which include post-baccalaureate degrees, professional certificates, and associate degrees. State residents can also select a program that has been approved by the American Bar Association (ABA).
When you begin to train to become a paralegal in New Jersey, your course material will vary based on the program you enroll in. However, the training will typically cover topics such as preparation of legal memoranda and legal documents, research techniques used for briefs, how to identify relevant law, and legal terminology. Other topics covered include the litigation process, ethics, and the rules of evidence.
Atlantic Cape Community College
Mercer County Community College
Farleigh Dickinson University
Paralegal Job Outlook
Studies indicate that law firms will increase their support positions while continuing to diversify the responsibilities allocated to legal assistants and paralegals. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job growth rate will be 21.3% between the years of 2012 and 2022. In May of 2014, 6,190 paralegals worked within the state. This places New Jersey among the top states for employment of paralegals.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual paralegal salary in the state of New Jersey is $57,600. This is well above the national average, which is $51,840.40. Salaries will vary based on several factors, some of which include the size of the hiring organization and the paralegal’s level of experience and education. The location of the firm can also impact salary. For example, individuals who work in the Trento-Ewing area earn an average annual salary of $64,230. This rate is significantly higher than the average for the entire state.
Don’t Delay: Start Building Your Paralegal Career Today!
If you have thought about the pursuit of a career as a paralegal, now is the time to obtain the information necessary to realize your vocational goals. You can use the information outlined above to make an informed decision regarding whether pursuing a career as a paralegal is a good idea for you.