How To Become a Paralegal and Legal Assistant

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How Long Does It Take, What Degree Do You Need, and More.

What degree do you need

Recommended degree level

Associate’s Degree

We did a survey to ask other Paralegals and Legal Assistants what degree they had when they became a Paralegal and Legal Assistant. Here are the results.
Associate’s Degree

Bachelor’s Degree

a Post-Secondary Certificate

One of the most common questions that we always get is what major or degree do I need to become Paralegals and Legal Assistants or what courses do I need to take.

We also asked Paralegals and Legal Assistants what did they major in college or university and here are the top 5 most popular majors that came up.

Legal Assistant

Most paralegals and legal assistants have an associate’s degree in paralegal studies, or a bachelor’s degree in another field and a certificate in paralegal studies. The majority of paralegals and legal assistants hold a bachelor’s degree when they got the job.

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How hard is it

Not Too Hard

You may need some previous work-related skill, knowledge or experience to be a Paralegal and Legal Assistant. For example, an electrician must complete three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.

Careers in this difficulty category will usually need 1 or 2 years of on-the-job training and informal training with experienced workers. These careers usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Similar careers include hydroelectric production managers, travel agents, electricians, court reporters, and medical assistants.

Related work experience required
6 months to 1 year

6 months to 1 year

1 to 2 years


Job training
Up to 1 month

Up to 1 month

3 to 6 months


License and certifications

Do you need any license or certification
Recommended but not required

Although not required by most employers, earning voluntary certification may help applicants get a paralegal job. Many national and local paralegal organizations offer voluntary paralegal certifications to students able to pass an exam. Other organizations offer voluntary paralegal certifications for paralegals who meet certain experience and education criteria. For more information about paralegal certifications, see the Contacts for More Info section.

Skills required

We asked other Paralegals and Legal Assistants if they could only have 5 skills, what would they be. Here is what they said.

1. Reading Comprehension what does this mean
2.Active Listening what does this mean
3.Writing what does this mean
4.Speaking what does this mean
5.Critical Thinking what does this mean

= Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for

Knowledge required

Just like any other job, you will need certain know-hows to excel at your job. Paralegals and Legal Assistants are generally very knowledgeable in these 5 key areas.

1. English Language what does this mean
2.Law and Government what does this mean
3.Clerical what does this mean
4.Computers and Electronics what does this mean
5.Customer and Personal Service what does this mean

Learn more about Paralegals and Legal Assistants

Job Description
Requirements (You are here)
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Related to Paralegals and Legal Assistants Requirements

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