Degree programs combine general educational achievements with a focus on paralegal studies. Currently, students can choose to earn an associate`s degree, bachelor`s degree, or master`s degree in paralegal studies. These programs can last from two to five years. Companies can also offer promising positions to new paralegals. Tennessee is home to major companies such as FedEx, HCA Holdings, Dollar General, AutoZone and Amazon. The in-house legal services of these firms require a lot of support from paralegals and can offer paralegals a slightly different work experience than typical law firms. Paralegals and paralegals are also encouraged to check with local government agencies, insurance groups, and banks for additional opportunities. The Tennessee Paralegal Association recommends national certification for state paralegals, but it`s not a requirement to work there. As a member of the National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc., the Association recommends certification by that organization. Your basic certification is the Certified Paralegal (CP) (also known as a Certified Legal Assistant or CLA). The exam tests the following main areas of study and knowledge that beginning paralegals should know: Work experience is also very important in this area.
The best way to gain work experience as a paralegal is to apply for an internship at a law firm. Internships are usually unpaid training programs in which you work with a company or office for a period of time. While you won`t get paid for this job, you`ll get the necessary on-site training that will be essential to your resume and application process when you eventually apply for a job. The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, or veteran status by providing educational or employment opportunities and benefits. The University shall not discriminate on the basis of sex or disability in the educational programmes and activities it conducts in accordance with the requirements of Title IX of the Education Amendments, 1972, Pub. L. 92-318; and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act 1973, Pub. L. 93-112; and Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Pub. L. 101-336. This policy covers both employment and university admission.
Enquiries regarding Title IX, Section 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act should be directed to the Office of the Director of Affirmative Action, 205 Race Hall, (423) 425-5670. Accusations of violation of the above policy should also be directed to the Office of the Director of Affirmative Action. E040222-004-09 As of May 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimated that 5,770 paralegals and paralegals were employed throughout Tennessee, with more than one-third (2,060) in the greater Nashville area.2,4 As private law firms look to cut expenses, trends in hiring paralegals may increase as tasks previously delegated to lawyers can be outsourced to support staff at lower cost. Projections Central reported an estimated 15% employment growth for paralegals and paralegals in Tennessee from 2018 to 2028, compared to 12% nationally over the same period.2 Course offerings and university requirements are constantly reviewed and revised. This catalogue represents the offers and requirements in force at the time of publication on the Internet, but does not guarantee that they will not be modified or revoked. As with many professions, there are a variety of careers associated with paralegal work. Some of these related occupations include title examiners, claims adjusters, legal secretaries and paralegals. Established in 1976, the CLA/CP (Certified Legal Assistant/Certified Paralegal) program has enabled the profession to develop a robust and responsive self-regulatory program that provides a national qualification for paralegals.
The National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc. (NALA) administers the CLA/CP exam. Work experience gained through an articling placement, internship or academic credit can help new paralegals build professional networks and practice their skills. Not all programs offer this type of experience, but those who have the opportunity should take advantage of it if possible. Connecting with local law firms can be a helpful step in finding full-time employment once your paralegal training program is complete. $44,810 is the average annual salary for a paralegal employed in Memphis. The salary of a paralegal in Knoxville can be $46,970. Paralegals working in Nashville can earn an average salary of $54,600 per year. A paralegal is an important part of any law firm. They perform important legal tasks such as contracts and short letters, presenting evidence to the court, conducting research required for cases, gathering information from clients, and providing day-to-day assistance to lawyers. Many paralegals choose to pursue at least an associate`s degree in paralegal studies before embarking on their career path.
While this isn`t factored into Tennessee`s paralegal requirements, it`s another step that can give you an edge over your competitors when applying for paralegal jobs. There are many national certification programs for paralegals. You must be at least 18 years old to participate in most of these programs. You must be certified by a nationally recognized program such as the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA). NALA participants are allowed to take an exam to become a Certified Paralegal, or CP. Those who successfully complete a paralegal program and pass the exam can achieve advanced POPs status. Many people become paralegals because they want to work in a law firm and work closely with the law and the court system. However, becoming a lawyer is a long and arduous process. Many people who are interested in law become discouraged when they feel that, for whatever reason, they cannot commit to law school. Paralegal work offers an excellent alternative that always gives a sense of satisfaction in the desired professional field. When it comes to paralegal work, Tennessee has no laws governing entry into the profession, which means that many paralegals receive on-the-job training instead of enrolling in formal training.
However, completing paralegal training and certification can improve your ability to get hired by Tennessee`s top law firms. Law firms remain the largest employers of paralegals and paralegals in Tennessee, though private companies, government agencies, insurance groups, and financial institutions also need help. Tennessee`s urban areas are home to many regional, national, and international law firms. With offices in Nashville, Chattanooga and Memphis, Waller, Lansden, Dortch & Davis is one of Tennessee`s oldest and most established companies. With a variety of areas of law, Waller can offer various opportunities for paralegals interested in a large law firm environment. With offices in Knoxville, Memphis and Nashville, Bass, Berry & Sims PLC is another leading Tennessee-based law firm specializing in more than 15 different areas of law, including healthcare, compliance, and labor. Another option for aspiring paralegals are certificate programs. These educational programs offer specialized education in paralegal studies without many general training requirements.
Those who complete such a program receive certificates of completion and become certified paralegals. Certificate programs may be open to individuals with a high school diploma or equivalent, or may require applicants to already hold a bachelor`s degree in any field. The average salary for paralegals in Tennessee was $48,990 in 2020.3 However, paralegals who work in urban areas generally receive higher average pay. For example, paralegals in the Kingsport area earn the highest salaries in Tennessee ($57,860), which is higher than the national average for the profession of $56,610.4.3. Overall, the favorable employment trends projected in Tennessee suggest that paralegals and paralegals in the state will experience a positive labor market with the potential for competitive wage prospects. Estimates are based on national data and not on school-specific information. Data retrieved in December 2021. Paralegals with education, education or work experience may choose to become certified paralegals by passing a national certification examination. These tests are offered by the three national professional associations to demonstrate to paralegals their competence in this area and to recognize the level of qualification of employers. The requirements for national examinations differ between the three national paralegal organisations.
The State of Tennessee does not regulate the paralegal profession or set legal standards for education or training. However, Supreme Court rule 5.3 governs the professional conduct of lawyers with respect to non-legal assistants. Lawyers are required to supervise and train their paraprofessional staff directly, including on ethics and confidentiality.