Professional Licensure

Paralegal Technology

Students are encouraged to reach out to their respective department regarding their enrollment in the program and to explore various professional certification opportunities.

Jennifer Williford
Paralegal Instructor
919-209-2062
jwwilliford@johnstoncc.edu

Mailing Address: PO Box 2350 Smithfield, NC 27577

The provided table helps in determining if this program fulfills the educational requirements for licensure in the specific states, provinces, or territories listed. In the "Does This Program Meet State Educational Requirements?" column, each state's status is indicated as either “Meets State Educational Requirements,” “Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements,” or “No Determination Has Been Made.” Each entry in the table is tailored to the particular state corresponding to that row.

It is essential to understand that meeting the program's educational criteria might not be the sole requirement for certification. Additional prerequisites might include being listed on a registry, passing background checks, or satisfying certain physical standards. Therefore, students should consult the relevant agency to ascertain the full spectrum of requirements beyond educational accomplishments.

The degree and certificate programs are recognized by the North Carolina State Bar as qualified paralegal studies programs for purposes of certification. All students are required to take at least 10 semester hours of legal classes in a traditional seated instructional format from JCC. JCC is an institutional member of the American Association for Paralegal Education (AAfPE). Some states still require their state exam for reciprocity, so it is suggested a student check with the state in question before taking the program.

State, Province, or Territory Does This Program Meet State Educational Requirements?
Alabama Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
Alaska Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
American Samoa Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
Arizona Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
Arkansas Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
California Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
Colorado Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
Connecticut
Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
Delaware Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
Florida Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
Georgia Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
Guam Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
Hawaii Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
Idaho Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
Illinois Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
Indiana Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
Iowa Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
Kansas Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
Kentucky Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
Louisiana Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
Maine Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
Maryland Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
Massachusetts Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
Michigan Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
Minnesota Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
Mississippi Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
Missouri Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
Montana Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
Nebraska Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
Nevada Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
New Hampshire Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
New Jersey Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
New Mexico Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
New York Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
North Carolina Meets State Educational Requirements
North Dakota Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
Northern Mariana Islands Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
Ohio Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
Oklahoma Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
Oregon Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
Pennsylvania Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
Puerto Rico Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
Rhode Island Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
South Carolina Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
South Dakota Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
Tennessee Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
Texas Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
Utah Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
Vermont Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
Virgin Islands Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
Virginia Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
Washington Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
Washington, DC Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
West Virginia Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
Wisconsin Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements
Wyoming Does Not Meet State Educational Requirements

Please note:

Certification at the state level is almost always offered through the state’s paralegal professional association, not the state bar association, and not through a state government licensing authority of any kind – and, it is always voluntary. Realistically in 2021, you need at least an associate’s degree to work as a paralegal. Even in the handful of states of states where certification is available through the bar or some other authority, for most paralegals in most roles it is completely voluntary and usually completely unnecessary.

The only gray points that exist are in a few states (CA, AZ and WA) where paralegals that choose to offer certain services independently, would be required to be registered, certified or licensed. In CA, independent paralegals that choose to offer legal document preparation must be registered as Legal Document Assistants. In AZ, paralegals who choose to offer legal document services independently must earn the Legal Document Preparer certification. The operative word here is choose, in that there is no legal obligation to go through a credentialing process unless the paralegal chooses to offer expanded services or work independently.

Many courts and paralegal organizations believe that any mandatory regulation of paralegals may hinder the growth of the profession. For example, NALA opposes mandatory regulation, instead encouraging voluntary self-regulation through its national certification program.

The state bar associations in Ohio, North Carolina, and Florida offers paralegals the option of earning state certification through the state bar association.

The Texas bar association has taken certification one step further by offering certification in one or more of six areas of law.

In Indiana, paralegals can voluntarily register through the state bar association, and once accepted, use the credential “IRP” (Indiana Registered Paralegal) provided they meet specified education and experience requirements.