Although there is not the state-wide requirement for the licensing of paralegals in Texas, there are a number of certifying organization and boards that offer designations to paralegals. These certifications are an excellent way to get an edge on the competition when looking for higher level paralegal positions. So, how do you get a paralegal certification in Texas?
Getting A Paralegal Certification In Texas
The certifying board for paralegals and attorneys in Texas is the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. They provide legal certifications to both attorneys and paralegals in a number of different legal specializations. The first step is to choose your legal specialty to become a certified paralegal:
• Bankruptcy Law
• Civil Trial Law
• Criminal Law
• Estate Planning and Probate Law
• Family Law
• Personal Injury Trial Law
• Real Estate Law
Once you choose your specialization, you will need to make sure that you meet both the general requirements and specific requirements for your specialization. To meet the general requirements for certification you will need:
• Five years of paralegal experience with at least three of those in Texas
• Currently working under the supervision of a licensed attorney in Texas
• Have at least 50% of your duties as a paralegal in a specialized section
• Have one of the following: bachelor’s degree, NALA certification, completion of an ABA approved paralegal program, completion of a paralegal program with at least 18 hours of legal courses, or two additional years of paralegal experience under the supervision of an attorney.
• Been evaluated favorably by lawyers, judges, and other professionals in the legal industry.
Once a paralegal meets these requirements, they will nee to sit and pass a 4-hour examination in order to receive their Texas paralegal certification.
Once you have become a Board Certified paralegal in Texas, you will need to maintain your certification. Paralegals will need to pay a yearly fee as well as prove that they have completed a minimum number of continued legal education hours every five years in order to maintain your paralegal certification in Texas.