For any Nebraska citizen interested in a legal career, the ideal choice is becoming a paralegal. Paralegals work in a supportive capacity, performing the duties that allow lawyers and law firms to effectively serve their clients. A paralegal is similar to a legal secretary, but may have many more responsibilities.
Nebraska does not regulate the paralegal profession, although many law firms do have some basic requirements for hiring a paralegal. If you are considering a paralegal career, it’s important that you learn about the best ways to become trained as a paralegal and how you can become certified.
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How to Become a Paralegal in Nebraska
- Certification: Nebraska does not have any laws requiring paralegals to become certified before starting their careers.
- Age: Before seeking paralegal work, you should be over the legal age of 18.
- Licensure: No license is necessary to become a Nebraska paralegal.
- Degree: It is recommended, although not required, that you complete a paralegal studies certificate or degree from an American Bar Association (ABA) approved institution.
- Experience: Some law firms offer on the job training for paralegals. It is also possible to participate in a paralegal internship during your degree or volunteer to work in a law firm. Acquiring work experience will be useful when you are trying to be hired by a Montana law firm.
- Citizenship: A paralegal in Nebraska should be a US citizen or a legal alien.
- Background: It is likely that any prospective employers will request a background check before you are hired as a paralegal.
- Ethics: Paralegals who are members of paralegal organization must follow any ethical rules for the paralegal profession.
Certification Process in Nebraska
Once you have completed your paralegal education, you should consider becoming certified by a national organization like the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA). Becoming certified will open up more job opportunities and can give you a competitive advantage over paralegals who have decided to skip this step.
For those who choose NALA certification, there is the option to either sit for a certification exam or complete a curriculum. Paralegals who pass the exam earn the title of a Certified Paralegal (CP). A paralegal who has completed a NALA legal curriculum will receive an Advanced Paralegal Certification (APC).
Degrees Related to Paralegals
Perhaps the most important step in becoming a paralegal in Montana is enrollment in a paralegal studies program. Although this can be done at either the associate’s or bachelor’s level, your degree program should be ABA approved and include courses in subjects like legal research and legal writing.
Major Cities in Nebraska
- Baltimore has a population of 622,103 and is the largest city in Nebraska.
- Silver Spring is the second largest Nebraska city with 71,452 residents.
- Frederick has 66,893 residents and is Nebraska’s third biggest community.
What Does a Paralegal Do in Nebraska?
Paralegals are administrative professionals who provide support to attorneys. Paralegals can write legal reports, file documents and exhibits with the court, take down statements from clients and perform legal research that will be used by an attorney.
There are several legal support careers that are similar to paralegals. Some of the most common related careers include title examiners, claims adjusters, legal assistants and legal secretaries.
Employment Numbers in Nebraska
1,330 paralegals were employed in Nebraska in 2015, which was reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Bureau of Labor Statistics Salary Ranges in Nebraska
The average salary for a paralegal employed in Nebraska is $46,250.
Nebraska Related Organizational Links
Education Programs for Paralegals in Nebraska
- Master of Divinitiy - Law Studies
- Master of Business Administration in International Legal Studies
- Master of Business Administration in American Legal Studies
- Master of Legal Studies
- Master of Science in Legal Studies
- Associate of Applied Science in Legal Support and Services
- Pathway to Paralegal Postbaccalaureate Studies Certificate
- Bachelor of Science in Environmental Policy and Management
- Undergraduate in Legal Studies
- BS in Legal Support and Services - Paralegal Concentration