Paralegals in the State of Texas are not registered with the State Bar of Texas. However, the Paralegal Division is a statewide association for paralegals who work under the direct supervision of an attorney. The Paralegal Division is an integral part of the State Bar of Texas. For information on how to join the Paralegal Division, please see the membership criteria via the menu above: MEMBERSHIP > Types and Criteria. To apply online see the menu above: MEMBERSHIP > Applications.
The Paralegal Division does not review paralegal programs, therefore, the Division cannot attest to the quality of any paralegal program. However, paralegal programs are approved by the American Bar Association and Texas accrediting education agencies. In addition, there is a national association for paralegal educators. Therefore, to begin researching paralegal programs, please contact the following:
American Association for Paralegal Educators (AAFPE) — www.aafpe.org
American Bar Association (ABA) links:
Paralegal Program Search – General
Paralegal Program Search – Texas
If the program you are interested is not listed with these organizations, the best possible research tool is calling local law firms and asking them what paralegal programs they hire from in order to assess the situation. Or talk with each paralegal program and ask for a reference list of students that have graduated from the program. Use the list of graduates to gain the needed information.
Note: Not all paralegal programs will comply with Paralegal Division Active and/or Association membership application requirements.
Because there is no regulation for paralegals in the State of Texas; there are no hard and fast rules regarding requirements for someone becoming a paralegal. Law firms and corporations set their own requirements for hiring a paralegal. Many require a college degree plus a paralegal program certificate; others require only a paralegal certificate; and still others only require experience. Sometimes it is a combination of one or more of those things. However, new paralegal standards were approved by the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors that outlines requirements. Please view those paralegal standards via the menu above: ABOUT > Paralegal Definition and Standards.
To learn more about paralegal education, please search the following website: American Association for Paralegal Education (www.AAfPE.org).