Find Accredited Paralegal Schools In Virginia
Paralegals are qualified to assist those who practice law either in law offices or government agencies. While they cannot perform all the duties of a lawyer, they need to be trained in some legal expertise. In the state of Virginia, there are currently 29 accredited paralegal schools, five of which are also approved by the American Bar Association. You can find the ABA approved list at their approved program directory for Virginia: http://apps.americanbar.org/legalservices/paralegals/directory/va.html or you can search for the longer list of accredited programs at educationnews.org, which breaks the various programs up according to level. There are certificate, associates, bachelors and masters level programs in the state.
How To Get Certified In Virginia
While there are not specific regulations for paralegals working in Virginia, the Virginia Alliance of Paralegal Associations (VAPA) has set some guidelines so that those hiring paralegals can ensure that their employees are well qualified for the job. These guidelines recommend graduation from an ABA certified program or one of suitable and equivalent difficulty and gaining certification from a program that is recognized by VAPA. Other recommendations suggest appropriate numbers of coursework hours and levels of on the job experience for those receiving either bachelors or associates degrees. A certified paralegal is one who has taken and passed one of the approved national certification exams. There are four different national exams offered by three professional organizations, the National Federation of Paralegal Associations, the National Association of Legal Assistants and the Association for Legal Professionals.
Salaries For Certified Paralegal’s in Virginia
According to paralegaledu.org, there are currently over 8,000 paralegals working in Virginia, and their mean annual salary is just under $50,000. This is slightly higher than the average nationwide. However, salaries can vary widely within the profession. Salaries in this profession seem to be on the rise in Virginia.
According to educationnews.org, the number of paralegal graduates is also on the rise within the state, with about 59% of them graduating at the associates level. Paralegals work in a variety of legal fields, including litigation, probate law, corporate law, real estate, employment law and other legal services.
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