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PD Membership Types and Criteria

Active Membership Criteria

An applicant is eligible and may apply for active membership if the applicant works in the State of Texas as a paralegal under the direct supervision of a duly licensed attorney performing specifically delegated substantive legal work at least eighty (80) percent of the time and also meets one of the following criteria:

  1. You are a Board Certified Paralegal through the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and have been employed as a paralegal for at least one year.
     
  2. You are a Certified Legal Assistant or Certified Paralegal through the National Association of Legal Assistants and have been employed as a paralegal for at least one year.
     
  3. You are a Registered Paralegal through National Federation of Paralegal Associations and have been employed as a paralegal for at least one year.
     
  4. You have received a bachelor's or higher degree in a field other than legal studies and have been employed as a paralegal for at least one year.
     
  5. You have completed an ABA approved paralegal program/college and have been employed as a paralegal for at least one year.
     
  6. You have completed a paralegal program/college that consists of a minimum of sixty (60) semester credit hours (or equivalent quarter hours) of which fifteen (15) are substantive legal courses and have been employed as a paralegal for at least one year.
     
  7. You have completed a paralegal program/college that consists of fifteen (15) semester credit hours of substantive legal courses and have been employed as a paralegal for at least two years.
     
  8. You have completed a paralegal program that requires a bachelor's degree, associate's degree or higher AND consists of a minimum of 15 semester credit hours or a minimum of 100 clock hours and have been employed as a paralegal for at least two years.
     
  9. You have been employed as a paralegal for at least four consecutive years performing at least 80% substantive legal work under direct supervision of an attorney.

If you DO NOT satisfy those requirements, then you may be able to apply as an Associate Member.

Associate Membership Criteria

You should apply for Associate Membership if you are currently employed as a paralegal in the State of Texas under the direct supervision of an attorney with less than one year of experience, a paralegal performing substantive legal work 50% of the time, or a coordinator/supervisor of a paralegal program within a law firm, corporation, or agency and meet at least one of the following criteria:

  1. You are a Texas Board of Legal Specialization (TBLS) Board Certified Paralegal, a National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) Certified Paralegal, or a Registered Paralegal by the National Federation of Paralegal Association (NFPA).
     
  2. You have received a bachelor's or higher degree in a field other than legal studies.
     
  3. You have completed an ABA approved program/college of education and training for paralegals.
     
  4. You have completed a paralegal program/college that consists of a minimum of sixty (60) semester credit hours (or equivalent quarter hours) of which fifteen (15) are substantive legal courses.
     
  5. You have completed a paralegal program/college that consists of fifteen (15) semester credit hours of substantive legal courses.
     
  6. You have completed a paralegal program that requires a bachelor's degree, an associate's degree or higher AND consists of a minimum of 15 semester credit hours or a minimum of 100 clock hours with less than two years work experience.

Emeritus Membership Criteria

An Emeritus Member is an individual who, at one time, was an ACTIVE member of the Paralegal Division but is no longer working as a paralegal.  Emeritus status is only available to a current Active member of the Paralegal Division [during the membership renewal process between April and July].

  1. As a current Active member of the Paralegal Division, you may be eligible for the Emeritus membership status if you are no longer working as a paralegal.
     
  2. Upon expiration of the membership year, a current Active member of the Division who is no longer employed as a paralegal and who has retired from the profession, moved out of state, taken a leave of absence, or changed careers may renew as an Emeritus member thereafter.  Mandatory CLE is not required.
     
  3. An Emeritus member shall have all of the privileges and prerogatives of an Active member, except that an Emeritus member may not vote, hold office, or serve as the chair on any committee.
     
  4. An Emeritus member may re-apply for Active membership (if he/she returns to the paralegal profession) at such time that he/she satisfies the criteria for Active membership by completing and submitting the current Active membership application.

Student Membership Criteria

A person is eligible for Student Membership if enrolled in a paralegal program that:

  1. Is an ABA approved program of education and training for paralegals;
     
  2. Consists of a minimum of sixty (60) semester credit hours (or equivalent quarter hours) of which fifteen (15) are substantive legal courses; or
     
  3. Consists of fifteen (15) semester credit hours of substantive legal courses.
     
  4. A paralegal program that requires a bachelor's degree, an associate's degree or higher and consists of a minimum of 15 semester credit hours or a minimum of 100 clock hours.

Subscribing Membership Criteria

An individual who is interested in supporting the purposes and goals of the Division may be eligible for subscribing membership if:

  1. Individual is NOT currently employed as a paralegal, but has completed a paralegal training program;
     
  2. Individual is not currently employed as a paralegal, but has successfully become a Board Certified Paralegal through the Texas Board of Legal Specialization; a CLA/CP/ACP through the National Association of Legal Assistants, or a RP through the National Federation of Paralegal Associations;
     
  3. Individual is currently employed as a paralegal in another state other than Texas, and is working under the direct supervision of an attorney;
     
  4. Individual has previously been employed as a paralegal, but is not employed at the time of application; or
     
  5. Individual is an instructor in a paralegal program.

Sustaining Membership Criteria

Any law firm, corporation, agency, paralegal training program, institution, or entity interested in supporting the purposes and goals of the Paralegal Division of the State Bar of Texas (the "Division") shall be eligible for sustaining membership.


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The Paralegal Division of the State Bar of Texas
PO Box 19163, Amarillo, Texas 79114
Telephone: (806) 803-3267

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