[Updated March 30, 2022]
The first step to becoming a paralegal is to get your degree or certificate from an accredited institution. Accreditation gives merit to any credential.
What is accreditation? The goal of accreditation is to ensure that institutions of higher education meet acceptable levels of quality. Accreditation in the United States involves non-governmental entities (accrediting organizations) as well as federal and state government agencies (these three entities are formally known as the Triad). Accreditation's quality assurance function is one of the three main elements of oversight governing the Higher Education Act's (HEA's) federal student aid programs. In order for students to receive federal student aid from the U.S. Department of Education (Department) for postsecondary study, the institution must be accredited by a "nationally recognized" accrediting agency.1