The requirements to become a paralegal vary by state. Some states have no requirements, although, in reality, it is difficult to impossible to get in with no relevant work experience.
This site seems to have a lot of information on California. If you are going to school, you will want to make sure it is an ABA (American Bar Association) approved program. Best of luck to you!
Hi! I am glad to hear you are considering a career in the field of law. I worked as a paralegal for one year after college and before I went to law school. If you do not with to be a paralegal permanently, you can apply for some law firm paralegal positions with the understanding that you will likely proceed with graduate schools. Law firms look for college graduates with a good GPA and solid writing and research skills. You may also consider state-specific programs and paralegal "certificate" classes.
Below is an example of an online program in Paralegal Studies:
To become a paralegal in California, you must have one of the following:
- A paralegal certificate from a school approved by the American Bar Association (ABA).The completion of a minimum of 24 semester hours in paralegal studies from a state-accredited school, or a bachelor’s degree or higher in any subject AND a minimum of one year of experience working under an attorney with a minimum of three years of experience in California law. In most cases, completing an ABA approved paralegal program in California will take between 18 to 24 months.
There are two important signs of quality in a paralegal training program: approval from the American Bar Association, and a high job placement rate.
When most of the graduates from a program are receiving legal industry jobs, that’s an indication that the training program is producing qualified candidates. Across the United States, in larger cities, law firms may place emphasis on four-year programs, but most firms hire paralegals with an associate’s degree.
Below is a link to ABA approved paralegal programs:
Best of Luck