Having a criminal record is undoubtedly one of the most challenging battles to deal with. There are also multiple restrictions that come with being called a ”Criminal”. If you are someone who has a criminal record or someone around you is going through this, it would be tough. You must be aware of the multiple limitations that have been put on you.
This can be frustrating if you want to put your past way behind and look for a proper job. Also, the anxieties can quadruple if you are looking for employment as a paralegal. This is because a paralegal’s job is a part of the broad spectrum of the legal field.
Paralegal Work Options
There are no wonders that today, many individuals are opting to become a paralegal and want to go through the training. The salary of a paralegal is fascinating, and the work is also exciting. The type of work a paralegal performs can be diverse. One can find their niche as per their interest and likes.
A paralegal in the smaller offices tends to take up multiple tasks. This includes preparing bills, making various copies of the documents, etc. Still, the paralegals in the more prominent firms are more specialized.
For example, in the case of tri law, the work is confined to the litigation section of the organization. Here the paralegal has the duty to prepare discoveries and get the exhibits ready for the court. If you are inclined towards corporate law, you could work as a corporate paralegal. You can assist the attorneys in making documents such as shareholder agreements, employee contracts, etc.
In this thread, we will discuss in detail if you will be allowed to enter a legal program, get the required certification and get employment as a paralegal with a criminal record.
Here are some of the questions that every felon has in mind. We have tried to cover each question’s responses in detail.
1 Can a Felon Become a Paralegal?
There is no definite answer to the above question, as it depends on the situation and multiple factors governing that situation. For instance, if you have been looking forward to getting your hands on an online paralegal degree, then a criminal record will not be a big problem.
If you are planning to apply to a bar association, you will be asked about your criminal record. The authorities will ask multiple questions such as:
- What is your record?
- How did you land up in such a situation?
An important thing to keep in mind is that when you are asked about your past criminal record, make sure that you never ”Lie” because the authorities have every piece of information in black and white. Lying will put you on a tough spot and weaken your already weak case.
Lying can also lead to some severe effects, such as rejection from the paralegal program.
Once you get the paralegal training program, you have still not aced through it because you will always not be in a ”Clear” position. Multiple internship sites are strict with their background checks on the students they are looking forward to hiring.
Hence, the students with a criminal record are in a spot because the tough companies do not recruit students which a criminal past. This is primarily very common with government websites. One solid piece of advice for you here is that, before applying for an internship program, make sure you do a background check by understanding whether your criminal record will be a barrier in your internship program.
2 Is Getting Certified as a Paralegal Touch with a Criminal Record?
Many of the certification bodies do not possess any general policy around paralegal students who have a criminal record. The decision in such a situation is made case-by-case. If you have a criminal record, you must get in touch with the state certification body at the earliest, post completing the paralegal certification.
The state certification body will have complete clarity about the steps you must take to get an official certification.
3 Can The Authorities Employ a Felon as a Paralegal?
The truth is that many of the law offices prefer to consider paralegal candidates who have a clean past, i.e., no criminal record. These law offices include large MNC’s, MNC’s and corporations in the metropolitan areas. If you have a felony, then, unfortunately, finding employment will be a tough nut to crack.
As is said, every cloud has a silver lining and this situation is no different. It is not ”Impossible” to get a job. This is because there are still multiple employers who will not focus on your history and look at the time post your convention. In such a scenario, the type of offense also comes into the picture.
There are various law offices, which require the paralegals to get licensed as notary publics. Unfortunately, you will be unable to obtain this license with a felony conviction. For you to be able to obtain this license, you should have the following:
- An expunged criminal record
- Received a pardon
- Certificate from the State Government about your good conduct.
Just because you have a felony does not at all mean that you would be required to give up your goal of becoming a paralegal. There is no doubt that searching for any job with a criminal record could be challenging, time-consuming, and mind-boggling. But there are many individuals with a felony who to ace through this situation and secure themselves great jobs each day.
If you have a criminal record, you must be prepared to face hurdles in your journey regardless of any reasons. It would help if you remembered that your past would leave you with time, and people will check out your time after your conviction. This is why you must put in extra effort and make the most of this time.
The best option you have right now is to sail through the difficulties. Do not stop till you hear the golden words – ”You are Hired”.