Paralegal license required in Louisiana?

I’ve previously posted on the curious happenings in a Louisiana parish (equivalent of a county in most other jurisdictions). The parish was unable to find any records relating to the employment of an ex-spouse of a former parish president, although she supposedly performed the job and was paid for that performance for 18 years – $64,000 in at least the last of those 18 years. However, my interest focused on the statement, “However, the parish was unable to provide proof she has the required certification to hold that position.” My question was what would be the “required certification” to hold the position given the lack of any uniformity within the paralegal profession regarding certification requirements for paralegals, much less a “paralegal supervisor.”

There was another story shortly thereafter about a candidate for Kenner (Louisiana) mayor, having trouble justifying his claim that he worked as a paralegal in the Jefferson Parish Attorney’s Office. He produced a copy of a letter on Jefferson Parish letterhead from the parish attorney at the time transferring him from Citizens’ Affairs to the attorney’s office as a full-time paralegal making $11.75 per hour effective two days earlier. He also provided a parish personnel form noting his resignation as a paralegal. My question at the time, to which there appears to be no answer was by what standard did the man qualify to work as a paralegal anywhere at anytime?

Now there’s a story on reporting, “Former Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard and former Parish Attorney Tom Wilkinson may have committed payroll fraud by approving $45,000 in excess pay to Broussard’s wife and hiring two politically connected people as paralegals who lacked required licenses, according to a report released by the state Legislative Auditor.” So again my question is, what are the required licenses to be a Jefferson Parish paralegal? I am not aware of Louisiana having enacted any licensing requirements for paralegals at all and would be quite pleased if someone could point out what this is referencing.

Just to be clear, as I have previously noted, there are real, competent, professional paralegals in Louisiana and they deserve better than to have their professional identity usurped in this fashion. There is also a very good paralegal educational program at Tulane University directed by Sallie Davis, a graduate of my alma mater, the University of Maine.

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