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A profession is an occupation requiring of the arts of sciences and advanced study in a specialized field such as the law It most cases it requires a specific standard of mandated field of study In todays standard of a paralegal is defined as A person sufficiently trained or experienced in the law and legal procedures to assist under an attorneys supervision in the performance of substantive legal work that would otherwise be performed by any attorney This definition is however lacks a certain accuracy because in addition to all those things a paralegal is also a professional This status however controversial has not been granted because of the lack of mandatory statutes requiring a licenseThe time has long since passed when a paralegal could enter the profession without formal education Currently many employers prefer paralegal candidates with the following background 1 a bachelor degree from a four-year institution 2 paralegal training preferable from an ABA approved paralegal program and 3 hands-on practical and work related training such as that obtained through an internship or externship However many are contemplating the further requirement of a licenseBy their very nature licensure mechanisms are designed to protect the health safety and well being of citizens Licensure mechanisms are for the most part established by governments through their legislative bodies to serve the public interest In New Jersey for example the legislature has established 33 boards which regulate the activities of 60 professions and occupations 600000 New Jersey citizens are regulated by these boards which range from medicine dentistry and nursing to plumbing psychological counseling and engineering It is critical that any licensing or professional certification program must relate to and reflect real-world situations However there is a difference Certification is the formal recognition by a private group or state agency that an individual has satisfied standards of proficiency knowledge and competence ordinarily accomplished through the taking of an exam Licensing is a governments official act of granting
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