Paralegal is an unregulated profession, which means that you do not need a degree. Actually, unregulated in 49 states. There is one state in the US that does have regulations but it doesn’t include a degree.
California’s regulation state that a paralegal must have so many hours invested in their training. It’s not degree in nature but they want to make sure you’re trained to do the job. For instance, you could go through a two-year, four-year program, which is obviously going to give you the training, or you could go through an online certificate program, which will give you enough hours to be in compliance with the California Business of Professions Code.
Many students throughout the country look to California to be competitive. Students living in California planning to work there need to comply with the code. You need to make sure you have at least 360 hours in your training, students otherwise can go to work with a high school diploma and no training, I don’t know if anybody’s going to hire you because they want to make sure, again, you’re trained to do the job, but a certificate program is fully sufficient to go out and work. In fact that’s what a certificate says, is that you have been trained to do this job.
Your degree says that you’ve got general education, which is absolutely valuable. The highest paid paralegals in the country are those that have a Bachelor’s Degree in anything, it doesn’t even matter what it is combined with a certificate in paralegal. To learn more about earning a paralegal certificate, visit our paralegal course information page