Texas Paralegal - The Lone Star State's Dynamo
What’s it mean to be a Texas paralegal? Texans take their paralegals seriously.
Consider that The State Bar of Texas was the first bar association in the United States to create a separate division for paralegals. They also offer 6 areas of specialization for paralegals.
You’ll find Texas has several associations for legal assistants. They include, but are not limited to:
- North Texas Paralegal Association
- West Texas Association Paralegal Assistants
- South Texas Organization of Paralegals
- Texas Panhandle Paralegal Association
You’ll also find that the American Bar Association has listed all of its recognized ABA paralegal programs. You can find out more here at apps.americanbar.org/legalservices/paralegals/directory.tx.html
(copy and paste in your browser) to determine if the school you’re interested is ABA approved.
Education is important generally but in certain career fields such as paralegals or legal assistants it makes a difference.
What do I mean exactly? Well it’ll make a difference in your paycheck for example and certainly your employment and advancement opportunities.
Experience is often a true test of one’s knowledge, but in the case of paralegal work, education cannot be side stepped. You will more than likely need a bachelor’s degree unless you’ve acquired an Associate’s degree in paralegal studies.
Ideally obtaining an ABA approved degree or certificate is best, but you can become certified through NALA as well.
The more knowledge you have the better for your potential employers. Presently, there is a great deal of competition for employment. Education is often the dividing line among candidates when getting their foot in the door.
There are, of course, exceptions to this rule. If you are referred by a friend to an attorney who decides to give you a chance then you’re golden.
Networking is always going to be important for your career.
Make good impressions with all the folks you work for including during your internship. The legal field is very small – never alienate yourself because you don’t know what connections people have.
You’ll also find a Texas paralegal salary information at www1.salary.com/tx/paralegal-i-salary.html (copy and paste into your browser). You can see there’s a range of $42,000 to 47,078 from Waco to Houston. It just depends on where you work and more importantly, the specialty you work in.
These median wages may only be for litigation paralegals rather than intellectual property paralegals or corporate paralegals.
Check with your local association to get details for your area.
Working as a paralegal in Texas gives you employment in an ever-changing career field. There are lots of opportunities through local organizations for educational improvement. You’ll have the chance to grow and learn with a company or law firm focused on advancing the knowledge of its legal staff.
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