A Certified Paralegal Has a Paralegal Certificate From a Paralegal School
When I completed my paralegal studies I became a UCLA Certified Paralegal. I obtained my paralegal certification from the University of California at Los Angeles Extension Paralegal Studies Program in 1989. Back then it was called the Attorney Assistant Training Program. It is much better to just call yourself an assistant. Calling yourself a legal assistant is much safer and acceptable than the lofty sounding “paralegal.”
If is very important to have your paralegal certification from a name brand school. UCLA is the the top however a certified paralegal form California State University Los Angeles is also a quality degree. Depending upon the school your certificate is your degree. A very well and good to have but just remember that it is still good advice to just call yourself a legal assistant. Or just assistant. You would do well to just call yourself a speed typist. Attorneys will get it.
However the best reason for simply calling myself an assistant is to escape the long arm of legal regulation. I am actually a legal typist. Just a typist really. For the amount of money I earn these days I prefer to be called a typist. Take my advice, typing and legal word processing is legal document assistant skill number one.
Certified Paralegal or Certified Speed Typist?
What is in a title? When I was a kid watching the TV show Jeopardy! they had on this little teaser at the end of one of the shows. This little teaser clip was of a tall African-American man who was some kind of record holding speed typist. When the Jeopardy! host asked the speed typist how he did it the man starting typing lightning fast as he sang: “Hard work, hard work.” That sound and image is still embedded in my mind some fifty years later.
There are still speed typists in the world but they don’t type on typewriters like that speed typist on Jeopardy! Today many speed typists are certified paralegals producing discovery and other legal pleadings. Employers have spent so much money on computers and printers that they expect every certified paralegal to be a speed typist.