Texas Paralegal Requirements & Resources

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Texas Paralegal Requirements & Resources

Becoming a Paralegal in Texas

Texas does not regulate the paralegal profession and as such, does not place any minimum education, training or work experience requirements on those seeking to enter this field.  Like many other states however, there is a voluntary certification process paralegals may choose to apply for through the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.  Paralegals can specialize in different areas:

  • Bankruptcy Law
  • Civil Trial Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Estate Planning and Probate
  • Law
  • Family Law
  • Personal Injury Trial Law
  • Real Estate Law

This was created by the State Bar of Texas and that organization recommends that attorneys hire paralegals with the following qualifications:

  • TBLS specialty certification
  • National certification through the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) or the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA)
  • A bachelor’s or higher degree in any subject AND at least one year of work experience with direct supervision by a licensed attorney while performing substantive legal work AND at least 15 hours of continuing legal education completed annually
  • Graduation from an ABA-approved certificate program in paralegal studies
  • Completion of a paralegal studies program at an accredited college or university
  • Completion of at least four years of substantive legal work experience under the supervision of a licensed attorney

Professional Paralegal Associations

Alamo Area Paralegal Association, Inc. (AAPA)
As one of the largest legal assistant associations in the State of Texas, AAPA’s membership is more than 225 members, which are employed by law firms and corporations in the San Antonio area. Throughout the last eighteen years, AAPA has worked with local bar associations on various projects to promote the legal profession.

Capital Area Paralegal Association (CAPA)
CAPA was organized in 1978. It is a professional association for paralegals and legal assistants in Austin, Texas and surrounding areas. CAPA is affiliated with the National Association of Legal Assistants (“NALA”).

Denton County Paralegal Association
For information contact Deborah R. Maldanado at debbie@whittenlawfirm.com or call 940-383-1618.

Dallas Area Paralegal Association
The Dallas Area Paralegal Association (DAPA) was formed on October 23, 1976 as the Dallas Association of Legal Assistants and changed its name in 1996. In 1978, DAPA became affiliated with the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA), an organization that represents approximately 11,000 paralegals nationwide. DAPA is a voluntary non-profit corporation composed of paralegals working in all areas of the law.

Fort Worth Paralegal Association (FWPA)
The purpose of the FWPA is to promote the professional objectives and goals of paralegals, to encourage, promote and conduct programs of continuing education and professional development and to promote the advancement of high standards of integrity and professionalism for paralegals to the end that both the public and the legal profession are better served.

Houston Metropolitan Paralegal Association
The Houston Metropolitan Paralegal Association is one of the largest paralegal associations in the State of Texas and is in the top five of the largest metropolitan legal assistant associations in the United States. It is a non-profit organization and has more than 975 members.

Paralegal Division of the State Bar of Texas
The official website for the Paralegal Division of the State Bar of Texas. Formed in 1981, the Division was the first paralegal organization to be affiliated with a State Bar Association.

North Texas Paralegal Association
The North Texas Paralegal Association, an affiliated association of the National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc. (NALA), and located in Dallas, Texas, is dedicated to the advancement and betterment of the legal assistant profession by promoting the benefits of effective and increased utilization of legal assistants. North Texas Paralegal Association promotes high ethical standards for its membership and supports a voluntary national certification to identify legal assistants and/or paralegals who have demonstrated a high degree of competency in the profession and promotes continuing legal education for its members. North Texas Paralegal Association is dedicated to providing a network of professional support to legal assistants in their careers.

Metroplex Association of Corporate Paralegals (“MACP”)
MACP was formed in 1997 to promote and encourage the professional objectives and goals of paralegals for in-house counsel in the Dallas-Forth Worth area. MACP strives to provide programs of continuing education and development and to encourage high standards of integrity and professionalism. MACP members meet quarterly at various local corporations and annually in November.

Northeast Texas Association of Paralegals, Inc. (NTAP)
NTAP is a non-profit paralegal association organized to promote the paralegal profession in the State of Texas and the East Texas area.

Southeast Texas Association of Paralegals (SETAP)
SETAP (formerly known as SETALA) was organized in 1980 by four legal assistants, two of whom were Certified Legal Assistants (CLAs). It is a professional association for paralegals and legal assistants in Southeast Texas. SETAP is affiliated with the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) and the Texas Alliance of Paralegal Associations (TAPA).

Texas ALS
Texas ALS was chartered in 1954 and is a chartered state association of NALS… the association for legal professionals, a nonunion, nonpartisan, nonpolitical and nonprofit professional, educational association.

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