How to Become a Paralegal in Oklahoma


Want personalized recommendations?

Let's match you to the right program

Talk to Skipper

If you have a passion for the legal field and want to contribute to the justice system, becoming a paralegal in Oklahoma might be the right career path for you. In this blog post, we will explore what a paralegal does, where they work, the requirements to become a paralegal in Oklahoma, and where you can find paralegal classes in the state.

Article continues after recommendations

Recommended for you

What is a Paralegal?

A paralegal, also known as a legal assistant, is a professional who assists lawyers in their legal work. They play a crucial role in law firms, government agencies, and corporate legal departments. Paralegals are responsible for conducting legal research, drafting legal documents, organizing case files, and assisting with trial preparation.

The responsibilities of a paralegal may vary depending on the specific area of law they work in. They may specialize in areas such as criminal law, family law, corporate law, or real estate law. Regardless of their specialization, paralegals provide essential support to attorneys to ensure efficient legal processes.

Where does a Paralegal work?

Paralegals can work in various settings, including law firms, government agencies, corporate legal departments, and nonprofit organizations. They may also find employment in the legal departments of insurance companies or banks. Some paralegals even work as freelance professionals, offering their services to multiple clients.

The work environment for paralegals can be fast-paced and demanding, requiring strong organizational and multitasking skills. They often work closely with attorneys, legal assistants, and clients to deliver high-quality legal services.

How to Become a Paralegal in Oklahoma?

To become a Paralegal in Oklahoma, one must first complete an accredited paralegal education program, which typically takes 1-2 years. Next, obtain a paralegal certification by passing an exam. Once certified, the individual can search for paralegal jobs and start earning a competitive salary.

Requirements to Become a Paralegal in Oklahoma

To become a paralegal in Oklahoma, you need to meet certain education and legal requirements. While there is no specific licensing or certification requirement for paralegals in the state, completing a formal paralegal education program is highly recommended.

Many employers prefer hiring paralegals who have completed an American Bar Association (ABA) approved paralegal program. These programs provide a comprehensive education in legal principles, research, writing, and practical skills necessary for the profession.

Additionally, some employers may require paralegals to hold a bachelor's degree or have relevant work experience in the legal field. It is also essential to have excellent communication and computer skills, as well as a strong attention to detail.

Where can I find Paralegal classes in Oklahoma?

If you are interested in pursuing a career as a paralegal in Oklahoma, Dreambound is the largest platform for students to find and compare vocational training programs. Dreambound offers a variety of paralegal training programs in Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

By visiting the Dreambound website, you can access detailed information about paralegal training programs available in these cities. The platform allows you to compare the curriculum, tuition costs, and program length to find the best fit for your educational needs. You can find paralegal training programs in Oklahoma City here and in Tulsa here.

Dreambound simplifies the process of finding vocational training programs, making it easier for prospective paralegals to kickstart their careers.

Exploring a Career in Paralegal Outside Oklahoma

If you've been reading this article and aspire to become a Paralegal, but you reside in a different state, rest assured that achieving your goal is still within reach. You might consider exploring opportunities to become a Paralegal in Alaska, Louisiana, North Carolina, Washington, or Wyoming. Don't worry if you haven't found your location among these, because Dreambound makes it easier than ever to pursue your dreams regardless of your location by simplifying the process of finding and comparing Paralegal classes through a convenient search by zip code. With dedication and access to the right resources, you can confidently pursue a successful career in business and office, no matter where you live.

How do I get my Paralegal certification?

If you're interested in pursuing a career as a paralegal, obtaining a certification can significantly boost your chances of landing a job and advancing in your career. While certification is not always required to work as a paralegal, it is highly recommended and can give you a competitive edge in the job market. In this section, we will discuss the steps you need to take to get your paralegal certification.

Step 1: Research and Choose a Certification Program

The first step in obtaining your paralegal certification is to research and choose a reputable certification program. There are several organizations that offer paralegal certifications, such as the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA), the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA), and the American Alliance of Paralegals (AAPI). Each organization has its own requirements and criteria for certification, so it's important to carefully review their programs and choose the one that best suits your needs and goals.

Step 2: Meet the Eligibility Requirements

Once you have chosen a certification program, you will need to ensure that you meet the eligibility requirements. These requirements may include having a certain level of education, such as a high school diploma or a bachelor's degree, and/or a minimum number of years of work experience in the legal field. Some programs may also require you to pass a basic skills test or submit letters of recommendation.

Step 3: Enroll in a Certification Program

After confirming that you meet the eligibility requirements, you can enroll in the certification program of your choice. Most programs offer both online and in-person options, so you can choose the format that works best for you. During the program, you will learn about various areas of law, legal research and writing, ethics, and other essential skills needed to work as a paralegal. The duration of the program can vary, ranging from a few months to a year or more, depending on the program and your availability.

Step 4: Prepare for and Take the Certification Exam

Once you have completed the certification program, you will need to prepare for and take the certification exam. The exam is designed to assess your knowledge and competency in the field of paralegal studies. It typically consists of multiple-choice questions and may also include practical exercises or essays. It is important to thoroughly review and study the materials provided by the certification program to ensure you are well-prepared for the exam.

Step 5: Obtain and Maintain Continuing Education Credits

After passing the certification exam, you will be awarded your paralegal certification. However, certification is not a one-time achievement. To maintain your certification, you will need to earn a certain number of continuing education credits each year. These credits can be obtained through attending seminars, workshops, webinars, or completing online courses related to the legal field. Continuing education ensures that you stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the legal industry and demonstrates your commitment to professional growth and development.

How do I get a job as a Paralegal?

Now that you have obtained your paralegal certification, you may be wondering how to land your first job in the field. While the job market can be competitive, there are several steps you can take to increase your chances of getting a job as a paralegal. In this section, we will discuss some strategies and tips to help you kickstart your paralegal career.

Step 1: Polish Your Resume and Cover Letter

Your resume and cover letter are your first impression to potential employers, so it's essential to make them stand out. Highlight your education, certification, and any relevant work experience or internships you have completed. Emphasize your skills, such as legal research, writing, and knowledge of specific areas of law. Tailor your resume and cover letter to each job application to showcase how your qualifications align with the requirements of the position.

Get courses selected just for you

Try our powerful search engine

Try it now

Article continues after recommendations

More recommendations for you

Step 2: Network and Build Connections

Networking is crucial in any job search, and the legal industry is no exception. Attend legal conferences, seminars, and events to meet professionals in the field and expand your network. Join professional organizations, such as the American Bar Association (ABA) or local paralegal associations, to connect with other paralegals and legal professionals. Building relationships and connections can lead to job opportunities and valuable insights into the industry.

Step 3: Utilize Online Job Boards and Websites

Online job boards and websites are a great resource for finding paralegal job openings. Websites like Indeed, LinkedIn, and Glassdoor often have a wide range of job postings in the legal field. Create profiles on these platforms and set up job alerts to receive notifications when new positions become available. Take advantage of the search filters to narrow down the results based on location, experience level, and other criteria.

Step 4: Apply for Internships or Entry-level Positions

If you are having difficulty finding a paralegal job right away, consider applying for internships or entry-level positions to gain practical experience and build your resume. Many law firms and legal departments offer internships or junior paralegal positions that can serve as stepping stones to more advanced roles. Even if these positions are unpaid or have a lower salary, the experience and skills you gain can be invaluable in the long run.

Step 5: Ace the Interview

Once you secure an interview, it's crucial to prepare and make a strong impression. Research the firm or organization you are interviewing with and familiarize yourself with their practice areas and clients. Be prepared to answer questions about your education, certification, work experience, and skills. Showcase your ability to work well in a team, attention to detail, and problem-solving skills. Dress professionally and arrive early for the interview to demonstrate your punctuality and commitment.

Career Paths and Opportunities after Becoming a Paralegal

Becoming a paralegal opens up a wide range of career paths and opportunities in the legal field. While many paralegals work in law firms, there are also various other industries and settings where paralegals are in demand. In this section, we will explore some of the career paths and opportunities available to paralegals.

Law Firms

Law firms are the most common workplace for paralegals. In a law firm setting, paralegals work closely with attorneys to assist with legal research, drafting documents, organizing case files, and preparing for trials. They may specialize in specific areas of law, such as family law, criminal law, corporate law, or intellectual property law. Paralegals in law firms can advance in their careers by gaining experience, taking on more responsibilities, and specializing in a particular area of law.

Corporate Legal Departments

Many corporations have in-house legal departments that employ paralegals to handle a variety of legal matters. In this setting, paralegals may assist with contract drafting and review, compliance matters, intellectual property issues, and litigation support. Working in a corporate legal department can provide exposure to a wide range of legal issues and allow for interaction with various departments within the company.

Government Agencies

Local, state, and federal government agencies also employ paralegals to assist with legal work. Paralegals in government agencies may work in areas such as criminal justice, immigration, environmental law, or administrative law. They may assist with legal research, drafting legal documents, and providing support to attorneys in court proceedings. Working in a government agency can offer the opportunity to make a difference in public policy and contribute to the legal system.

Nonprofit Organizations

Nonprofit organizations often have legal departments or work with external law firms to handle legal matters. Paralegals in nonprofit organizations may assist with legal research, grant applications, contract management, and compliance with nonprofit regulations. Working in the nonprofit sector can be rewarding, as it allows paralegals to contribute to causes they are passionate about and make a positive impact on society.

Legal Technology Companies

With the advancement of technology, there is a growing demand for paralegals in legal technology companies. These companies develop software and tools to assist with legal research, document management, and case organization. Paralegals in legal technology companies may provide training and support to users, conduct product testing, and provide feedback for product improvement. Working in legal technology allows paralegals to combine their legal knowledge with their interest in technology.

Freelancing and Contract Work

Some paralegals choose to work as freelancers or independent contractors, providing their services to law firms, businesses, or individuals on a project basis. Freelancing allows for flexibility and the opportunity to work on a variety of legal matters. Paralegals can offer services such as legal research, document preparation, and case management. Freelancing can be a great option for experienced paralegals who prefer a more flexible work schedule or want to explore different areas of law.

Final Thoughts

Obtaining your paralegal certification can open doors to a rewarding and fulfilling career in the legal field. By following the steps outlined in this blog post, you can successfully navigate the path to certification and increase your chances of securing a job as a paralegal. Remember to continuously seek opportunities for professional growth and development, whether through continuing education or networking. With dedication and perseverance, you can build a successful career as a paralegal and make a significant impact in the legal industry.

If this article isn't quite hitting the mark for you, why not give these other articles a try:

Keziah Lim
Written by
Keziah Lim
Share this post: