Paralegal changing states - any issues?
February 20, 2005 4:18 PM   Subscribe

Is there any issue of certification for a paralegal / Attorney's Assistant to worry over when moving from one state to another?

I'm worried that my training and experience here in California may not be applicable when I move out of state. Anyone know of problems a paralegal might have finding work in a state where he/she wasn't originally trained?
posted by salsamander to Work & Money (3 answers total)
As far as I know, paralegals don't have to be certified the way lawyers do. You might try contacting the National Association of Legal Assistants. In New York, it seems like paralegals tend to be young college graduates biding their time until grad school, and as such can be highly overqualified--so your previous training/experience as a paralegal might not get you very far in a New York firm. The "career" people in New York seem to be legal secretaries, not paralegals.
posted by insideout at 7:54 PM on February 20, 2005

Best answer: Not all firms require their paralegals to be certificated. But anyway, once you earn a paralegal certificate from an (ideally) ABA accredited school, that's it, you're done. There is no exam like the bar exam to take, and you certainly can't be expected to attend school again in every state you move to. The paralegal certificate is just as portable as a college degree. I don't think you have anything to worry about. What differences there may be procedurally in filing documents in different courts, for example, can be explained to you in training and may crop up just as easily if you became a paralegal in a different legal specialty in the same state.
posted by amro at 9:34 AM on February 21, 2005

That would be a great question for a lawyer... ba da bum!
posted by bamassippi at 10:00 AM on February 21, 2005

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