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Three Tips to Prepare for Your Paralegal Certification

Posted by Gail Armatys

Apr 5, 2013 2:44:00 PM

Paralegals play a huge role in the legal services industry. Their research expertise is highly valued by lawyers and judges who need relevant information for their cases.

Any paralegal student should know the potential for a great career awaits after completing his/her studies. This is especially true today when there is a high demand for low cost legal services.

Beyond formal paralegal education, a certified paralegal examination can take you one step closer to your dream and enhacing your opportunities and credibility in the field of law. This is why it’s important to determine for yourself what you want to accomplish and what value is added through taking and successfully completing a certification exam.  Once you receive the good news of passing scores, the preparation and study will not have been a waste. Even if you have to retake a section of the exam, the information and knowledge gained during preparation can be significant. Here are some tips on preparing for a paralegal certification:

Know the Exam Coverage     paralegal graduate

Start by examining the areas the NALA examination covers. Having a basic idea will help you during your review. The certification exam includes five major exam areas specifically; Communications, American Legal System, Ethics, Judgment and Analytical Ability, and Legal Research. Each part is broken down into more specific areas. This is where the questions will be based. Know the topics covered so you can efficiently plan your study schedule. There are courses designed for preparation of this exam of varying lengths and costs.  As always, the amount of work and attention you put into such courses will determine to a great extent the success you have in applying what you learned from the course to the exam.

Know your Strengths and Weaknesses

Students have particular subjects they love and hate. These things reflect your own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to your chosen profession. The challenge is to set all these things aside and focus on studying. For instance, if you think your written communication skills are not excellent, work on this part to prep for the exam. Keep in mind that written communication is essential in the paralegal profession so make sure to work on it. Don’t be complacent with topics you find too easy or simple. Learn as much as you can about it to increase your knowledge.

Create a Study Schedule

Center for Advanced Legal Studies suggests making a reasonable study schedule and sticking to it. This is one of the rules of highly effective students. You can make a schedule that includes five days of study every week. The best thing to do is allot the days for the five different areas covered by the examination. Again, make sure to follow your study schedule religiously and never procrastinate. Otherwise, you will end up cramming all the information on the last days, which is not a good practice.

Follow these simple tips to make yourself more than ready for the examination.

Center for Advanced Legal Studies is a professional paralegal college specializing in producing competitive and highly effective paralegals since 1987. A Paralegal Exam Prep course is offered for preparation of the NALA certification exam.  Go to http://www.paralegal.edu/seminars/ for more information about this and the premier skills-based paralegal programs offered. 

Topics: certification, education and training

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