I’m often asked whether it makes sense to get a paralegal certificate. The answer is, probably not.

First, in order to be a good paralegal, you don’t need a certificate. You just need to be a good paralegal – good research skills, ability to be detail oriented, ability to deal with clients and potential clients.

Most paralegal programs are not worth your money or your time. If you can be all the things I’ve described above, the paralegal programs will teach you nothing new. They will happily take your money or your federally subsidized loans in order to “teach” you how to be a paralegal.

I’m frequently sent inquiries from potential employees who have gotten paralegal certificates and want to work for me. I have no need for people who have merely earned a certificate. I’d much prefer the person with 5 or 10 years of experience dealing with legal issues, rather than the person who spent six months getting a certificate.

Damon Chetson - 992 posts

Damon Chetson is a Board Certified Specialist in State and Federal Criminal Law. He represents people charged with serious and minor offenses in Raleigh, Wake County, and the Eastern District of North Carolina. Call (919) 352-9411.

Practicing Law