Florida Paralegal Requirements & Resources
Becoming a Paralegal in Florida
Like most states, the State of Florida does not place any education or certification requirements on those seeking to become a paralegal. Prospective paralegals may become a paralegal through on-the-job training opportunities or by pursuing a certificate program, an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree.
However, paralegals may become officially designated as Florida Registered Paralegals if they pass one of two litmus tests. The first litmus test requires a combination of education and work experience while the second litmus test requires certification from one of two national paralegal associations.
Educational and Work Experience Requirements
A person may become a Florida Registered Paralegal by meeting one (1) of the following education and paralegal work experience requirements:
- A bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies from an approved paralegal program plus a minimum of one (1) year of paralegal work experience;
- A bachelor’s degree from an institution accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency approved by the United States Department of Education or the Florida Department of Education plus a minimum of three (3) years of paralegal work experience;
- An associate’s degree in paralegal studies from an approved paralegal program plus a minimum of two (2) years of paralegal work experience;
- An associate’s degree from an institution accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency approved by the United States Department of Education or the Florida Department of Education plus a minimum of four (4) years of paralegal work experience; or
- A juris doctorate degree from an American Bar Association accredited institution plus a minimum of one (1) year of paralegal work experience.
A person may become a Florida Registered Paralegal by obtaining one of the following certifications:
- Successful completion of the Paralegal Advanced Competency Exam (PACE certification as offered by the National Federation of Paralegal Associations “NFPA”) and good standing with NFPA; or
- Successful completion of the Certified Legal Assistant/Certified Paralegal examination (CLA/CP certification as offered by the National Association of Legal Assistants “NALA”) and good standing with NALA.
A Florida Registered Paralegal must complete a minimum of thirty (30) hours of continuing education every three (3) years. A minimum of five (5) hours must be in legal ethics or professionalism and all courses must be through The Florida Bar, the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA), or the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA).
There is a $150 registration fee and the annual renewal fee is $150.
Professional Paralegal Associations
Central Florida Paralegal Association, Inc
Gainesville Association of Legal Assistants
The Gainesville Association of Paralegals, Inc., is a non-profit corporation dedicated to the promotion of the legal assistant profession, certification through NALA, professional training and networking, and upholding the highest standards of the legal profession.
Gulf Coast Paralegal Association
Northeast Florida Paralegal Association (NEFPA) Northeast Florida Paralegal Association (formerly Jacksonville Legal Assistants) was formed in October, 1984, to meet the growing need for a local professional association for Jacksonville’s legal assistants. NEFPA, an active participant in the legal community, holds monthly meetings featuring guests who speak on topics of interest to legal assistants.
Northwest Florida Paralegal Association Northwest Florida Paralegal Association (formerly Pensacola Legal Assistants) was formed on August 12, 1981, to encourage a high order of ethical and professional attainment, further education among members of the profession, establish good fellowship among society members and members of the legal community, and cooperate with the bar association.
Paralegal Association of Florida (PAF) (formerly Florida Legal Assistants, Inc.) PAF is a professional association of approximately 1,000 paralegals from around the state of Florida. The Association was incorporated in 1976 as Florida Legal Assistants, Inc. We are proud to distinguish ourselves as paralegals and, through PAF, cultivate the paralegal profession.
South Florida Paralegal Association
Southwest Florida Paralegal Association, Inc.
Tampa Bay Paralegal Association, Inc.
Important Links for Paralegals
Florida Registered Paralegal Program – Rule 20
Florida Registered Paralegal FAQ