If you are thinking of earning a paralegal certification in the state of Tennessee, then you should know, first and foremost, that there are some prerequisites involved. In order to enroll in a certification program, you will already need to hold at least a bachelor’s degree in a different area.

That is because these programs are designed mainly for those who have decided to become paralegals later in life, after having already earned a degree in a different field. Their purpose is to help these individuals to get the job they want without having to complete a whole other degree program.

One other purpose that certification programs sometimes serve is to help those who have earned paralegal degrees from institutions not approved by the American Bar Association. Such degrees are essentially worthless in the real world, but a certificate can help to supplement them and make the person’s education count for something.

As you can see, certification programs are not for everyone. If you meet the criteria, however, then you should, by all means, find a good program and get enrolled. In most cases, you should be able to earn your certificate in as little as six months to a year.

Those who are ineligible for certification programs should know that they still have some great options for getting started in the field. One of the most popular ones is to simply receive an associate’s degree from an accredited and ABA approved college or university. These degree programs only take around two years on average and are usually very affordable, especially if earned from a community college or from a trade or technical school.

Some people will choose to take their educations one step further and to earn a bachelor’s degree in the field, which generally takes around four years. This is an incredibly smart move, especially in today’s very competitive job market. It makes it much more likely that graduates will have an easier time finding jobs, and it also helps them to secure higher salaries as they get started in the field.

Whether you have chosen a certification program as your educational path or some other option, know that Tennessee will have a school that can meet your needs. It is home to so many excellent schools with fully approved programs that it’s not of matter of whether or not you’ll be able to find the right school—it’s just a matter of choosing that right school.

One great option in the state is Chattanooga State Community College, located in Chattanooga. This school, which is an incredibly affordable option for those with residency status, offers an associate’s degree program. The program is known for being quite flexible and willing to work with those students who have other demands on their time, so just about anyone can get a quality education here.

Then, you have Kaplan Career Institute, based in Nashville. This school is another very affordable choice and, more than that, it is in an excellent location. Nashville is a large city, one with lots of employment opportunities for paralegals , as well as many internship and other experiential learning opportunities for students. It offers an associate’s degree program in the field, along with many optional specializations for those looking to do something a little more specific.

There’s also Pellissippi State Community College, in Knoxville, also an impressive and happening city for paralegals. This school features an associate’s degree program. Then, you have Roane State Community College of Harriman, which has an associate’s degree program as well. Another fine choice is South College at Knoxville, with its own associate’s degree program.

Don’t forget about Southwest Tennessee Community College of Memphis either. It has an associate’s degree program as well. Plus, you have the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, with its bachelor’s degree program. There’s also Volunteer State Community College at Gallatin, and Walters State Community College in Morristown.

The former option has both an associate’s degree program and a certification program, and the latter has both as well. As you can see, no matter what you want to do in terms of your paralegal education, there are options for you in the state.