Paralegal Schools and Information for the State of Texas
Becoming a Paralegal in Texas
Texas was one of the first states to officially recognize paralegals as an integral part of the legal community and to create a Paralegal Division within the State Bar of Texas. Houston Texas is among the top 5 cities in the nation in employed paralegals. Since the State Bar of Texas includes paralegals in its membership and has created professional pathways and standards for them and helped legitimize the idea of a national paralegal certification. Paralegals working in Texas must have earned on of the following qualifications:
- TBLS specialty certification
- Certification through the NFPA or NALA
- 1 year work experience with direct supervision of a licensed attorney while performing substantive legal work, a bachelors degree in ANY subject as well as 15 hours of continuing education completed annually.
- Graduation from an ABA-approved certificate program at an accredited college or university
- Completion of a paralegal studies program at an accredited college or university
- Completion of at least four years of substantive legal work experience under the supervision of a licensed attorney
- Attend continuing legal education (CLE) programs
- Earn paralegal board certification through the Texas Board of Legal Specialization (TBLS)
- Earn national paralegal certification
- Join the Paralegal Division of the State Bar and/or local professional paralegal organizations
Texas Paralegal Education
The Texas State Bar encourages individuals who are seeking a career in the paralegal field to obtain proper education. Many employers in Texas desire a deep understanding of legal proceeds and state laws in order to consider a candidate for employment. Obtaining a Paralegal certification shows employers commitment to the field, an understanding of common practices general procedures. In the Paralegal industry, the terms certified, certificated, and certification are often used interchangeably but mean very different things.
- Certificate Programs– educational programs that offer a certificate upon completion, but no degree. Graduates are considered certificated paralegals.
- National Certification– Only offered by national professional paralegal associations. Earned thorough a combinations of worx experience, educational coursework, and the completion of a national exam. Graduates become certified paralegals.
- Certification- The Texas Board of Legal Specialization certification is offered to experienced paralegals who have chosen to focus their work on one area of law. The certification involves continuing education classes that offer a focused work load to help the paralegal become an expert in that area. This certification is only offered to paralegals with at least 5 years work experience.