Paralegals (also known as legal assistants) perform a variety of tasks depending on the organizations where they are employed. Tasks include, but are not limited to:
Experienced paralegals can perform almost any task an attorney performs, but may not give legal advice or represent clients in a court of law. The majority of paralegals work in the litigation field, but may also work in other areas such as:
For individuals who hold a bachelor’s degree, certificate programs offer the highest quality of paralegal education at an affordable cost. Please note that the Rice program requires that applicants hold a bachelor's degree.
According to a 2010 survey conducted by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA), paralegals who have graduated from post baccalaureate certificate programs, such as the Rice program, are among the highest-paid individuals in the field.
Source: NALA, 2010 National Utilization and Compensation Survey Report, October 2010.
Click here for more information about this survey.
NALA and the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA) each offer a voluntary examination for a fee. However, no state requires that a paralegal take any exam, and most paralegals choose not to take either exam. Students that have a bachelor's degree in any field and have graduated from the Rice Paralegal Certificate Program are eligible to sit for either exam. Contact NALA or NFPA for the most current requirements to sit for those examinations.
At this time, Rice does not plan to seek American Bar Association approval for its paralegal program. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the majority of paralegal programs offered by colleges, universities, law schools and proprietary schools do not have ABA approval; in fact, only about 260 of the estimated 1,000 paralegal training programs are ABA approved.
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Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies, MS-550
Rice University, 6100 Main, Houston, Texas 77005-1827
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1892, Houston, Texas 77251-1892