VERMONT PARALEGAL ORGANIZATION, INC.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What Colleges or Institutions for Paralegal Studies exist in Vermont?

At this time, there are no secondary education options in Vermont dedicated exclusively to paralegal studies.  The VPO Board is continuing to work with Vermont educational institutions to develop one.  However, there are programs in Vermont focusing on law in general, which would provide an aspiring paralegal with valuable knowledge and legal skills needed to succeed as a paralegal. 

Although the VPO does not endorse any particular program, you may consider Champlain College, located in Burlington, which offers a four-year Bachelor of Arts Degree in Law.  Champlain College's Law program provides a foundation of knowledge and skills valuable for a paralegal career or to prepare you for law school.  The Law program teaches  analytical and practical skills in subjects such as trial practice and procedure, personal and property crime, contract preparation and negotiation, real estate matters, negligence and product liability, family law, and estate planning.  

What regulation does Vermont have regarding Paralegals?

Vermont currently has no regulation, licensing, registration or certification requirements for paralegals.

What is a Certified Paralegal?

Certification or a certified paralegal is frequently confused with a certificated paralegal.  In summary:

·         If you have completed a paralegal educational program (e.g., a certificate program at a college, similar to a degree program) for which you have received a certificate, you are certificated.

·         If you have successfully passed a paralegal certification exam, such as NFPA's PACE®, you are certified.  This confers a credential (e.g., Jane Doe, RP®).  Certification is widely recognized in the paralegal field, and is a great way to make sure that you stand out as an exceptional paralegal.  

The table below delineates some of the differences and similarities:

Certified/Certification 

Certificated 

Results from an assessment/ examination process

Results from an educational process through an institution

Often requires educational and/or professional experience prerequisites

Often requires educational and/or professional experience prerequisites

Connotes mastery/competency as measured against predetermined standards, by application or exam

Evidences completion of a course or series of courses, similar to a degree program

Standards set through an industry wide process of analysis that results in an outline of required knowledge and skills 

Course content set through the institutions’ processes (faculty, dean, etc.)

Typically results in a designation/ credential (e.g., RP®) and receiving a certificate to hang on the wall

Typically results in receiving a certificate to hang on the wall

Typically, on-going continuing legal education (CLE) is required to  maintain certification

Similar to a degree, a certificate is the end result

Please visit the VPO’s Certification tab to learn more about certification options through the VPO, as a member of the National Federal of Paralegal Associations (NFPA). 


Vermont Paralegal Organization, Inc.
P.O. Box 5755
Burlington, VT  05402-5755

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Contact us at:  info@vtparalegal.org

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www.vtparalegal.org



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