Florida Paralegal Certificate

If you want to serve as a paralegal or legal assistant in the State of Florida, you will need to meet certain requirements for paralegal certification in Florida and seek out programs that are approved by The Florida Bar. The Florida Bar maintains a listing of Florida paralegal certificate programs in its Florida Registered Paralegal Program database. In order to be a Florida Registered Paralegal, you not only need to meet some qualifying criteria that include proof of certification. You will also need to pay a fee and file an official application with the Florida Bar.

Requirements for Paralegal Certification in Florida

You can find a number of accredited schools and ABA approved paralegal programs throughout the State of Florida. These programs may lead to paralegal certification in Florida, or a degree in paralegal studies. If you want to become a Florida Registered Paralegal, you will need to pay a $145 application fee that is payable to The Florida Bar and meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Evidence of any degrees in paralegal studies
  • AND attorney attestation form that you have work experience in this field
  • OR proof of NALA or NFPA certification

These are the only documents that can prove you are eligible to become a Florida registered paralegal, and you will need to submit as many forms as possible to support your application. Having a bachelor's degree from an accredited school can reduce the work experience requirement for Florida paralegal certification. Individuals with an associate's degree will need to have at least four years of experience to meet certification requirements. Those with a bachelor's degree will only need three years of experience.

Florida Paralegal Certificate Programs

You can find a list of schools that prepare you for the national certification programs on the American Bar Association website. National certification is granted by the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA) and the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA). You can find a list of ABA-approved paralegal programs in the State of Florida by visiting the American Bar Association website. Certification from either the NFPA or the NALA makes you eligible for certification with the Florida Bar's paralegal program.

Florida colleges, universities and training centers that are listed in the ABA-approved paralegal programs database include:

  • Broward College
  • Edison State College
  • Florida State College at Jacksonville
  • Miami Dade College
  • Nova Southeastern University
  • Seminole State College, Sanford
  • South University, West Palm Beach
  • St. Petersburg College, Clearwater
  • Valencia Community College, Orlando

Other Information about Paralegal Certification in Florida

If you did not meet the current criteria for becoming a registered Florida paralegal and applied before February 28, 2011, you would have needed to provide proof of at least five years of paralegal experience in the last eight years of your application. As of March 1, 2011, all applicants must either meet the education and experience requirements listed above, OR receive one of the two approved certifications from the NFPA or NALA in order to be eligible for the Florida Registered Paralegal Program. The Florida Bar requires all applicants to submit copies of certifications, transcripts and attorney attestation forms with the application fee for review.