Florida May Be First State to Require Certification for Paralegals

The Florida Bar studies the regulation of the state's paralegals. Florida could become the first state to require certification.

Florida May Require Certification for Paralegals

Florida May Require Certification for Paralegals

By Cyndi Jones, CP

In response to pressure from local paralegal associations and paralegals, the Florida Bar has created a committee to study possible mandatory regulation of the state’s paralegals. Florida could become the first state to require paralegal certification. The mandatory certification would require anyone working as a paralegal, or legal assistant, in the state of Florida to pass a national certification test and meet the educational and continuing education requirements.

The Florida Supreme Court adopted a voluntary paralegal regulation program in 2007. This program required paralegals to either pass one of two approved national tests, or have a two or four year paralegal degree to be registered. They must also agree to: follow a code of ethics and responsibility; be supervised by an attorney at all time; and take 30 hours of continuing education every three years.

Since the adoption of the program, nearly 4,000 paralegals, including yours truly, have applied and been approved. This allows approved paralegals to hold a Florida Registered Paralegal (FRP) designation and to be registered and listed with the Florida Bar.

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