Paralegal Career Guide for Arkansas

Paralegal Education in Arkansas

Flag of Arkansas

Flag of Arkansas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An ever growing field and projected to increase 28 per cent by the year 2018, paralegals are currently in demand across the country. In Arkansas, especially in Little Rock and the surrounding areas, over 2,000 paralegals are employed by government agencies, law firms and corporations. They are sought for their expertise in areas such as document interpretation, appointment setting, interviewing or witnesses, research, assisting an attorney for trial preparation, and many other tasks.

What was once the domain of the lawyer has now become the kingdom of the paralegal as the profession rises into a new light with employers who enjoy that paralegals, while well-paid, are not as expensive to keep on a payroll as an attorney. Paralegal associations have been working hard to showcase paralegals for the valuable resource they are, and they have achieved their goal. Now more than ever it is a good career to choose.

Salaries

In USD as of Feb 6, 2013 (source: indeed.com) 25k 50k 75k
Paralegal in Arkansas $46,000
 

Spotlight School

Paralegal Requirements

arkansas

arkansas (Photo credit: L. Allen Brewer)

There is no set authority governing the paralegal field in Arkansas; consequently there are no set degrees or certifications that are essential for a job as a paralegal. However, there are three ways to become one: learn as you go, take a specific educational course for an Associate’s degree, or if you already have a college degree, there is a certification course which focuses solely on paralegal responsibilities and training and takes less time to achieve than an AA degree. (Primarily because all the required courses have been satisfied.)

Arkansas has a Rule of Professional Conduct 5.3 within its laws that keeps in line with many other states. It enforces that the behavior of a paralegal or other legal assistant becomes the culpability of the attorney who has them in direct employ. In short, the lawyer employing a paralegal takes responsibility for his or her professional actions.

While there are no specific requirements to becoming a paralegal in Arkansas, an aspiring paralegal can certainly set herself up to outshine the competition by completing a degree or becoming certified. There are four additional certificates that can be completed for an employer to really take notice of a paralegal’s skill and experience. It is important to ask a potential employer if they want a certified paralegal or a certificated paralegal, as the two are not the same and an employer may not know the difference. A certificated paralegal already possessed a Bachelor’s degree in a non-related field and had only to take the certification courses for paralegal studies, or gained a certificate through other course work and study; a certified paralegal is one who has taken and passed one of the four extra exams. It’s important to note than not all schools offering a certificate are accredited or American Bar Association-approved.

Educational Institutions

In Arkansas there are only two ABA-approved schools, though there are considerably more that have the accreditation of the Board of Education and even more that are non-accredited.

NorthWest Arkansas Community College offers a two-year Associate’s degree of Applied Science in paralegal studies. This college enjoys an agreement with the UA Law school concerning paralegal research and graduating students can find local jobs with companies such as Wal-Mart, J.B. hunt Trucking and Tyson’s. Courses are offered throughout the day, evening and off-campus. It’s located in Bentonville and internships are on an elective basis.

The second is the University of Arkansas in Fort Smith. It offers a two-year Associate of Applied Science degree and programs for both paralegals and legal assistants. ABA guidelines are stringent and demanding; the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith was the first in the state to gain the ABA approval and has kept it since 1994. Internships are on an elective basis but are arranged with the U. S. Attorney’s office, Prosecutor’s Office, and local law firms. It also provides day and evening classes.

Firms of Interest

There are a large number of firms that hire paralegals in Arkansas and most of them are in Little Rock. Below you will find a truncated list and contact information.

Rose Law Firm
120 East Fourth Street
Little Rock, AR 72201-2893
Tel: (501) 375-9131
Fax: (501) 375-1309

Friday Eldredge & Clark LLP has three offices in Arkansas

400 West Capitol Avenue, Suite 2000
Little Rock, Arkansas, 72201-3522
Tel: (501) 376-2011

3425 North Futrall Drive, Suite 103
Fayetteville, Arkansas, 72703-6252
Tel: (479) 695-2011

600 S. 52nd St., Suite 200
Rogers, Arkansas, 72758
Tel: (479) 695-2011

Quattlebaum Grooms Tull & Burrow PLLC
111 Center Street, Suite 1900
Little Rock, AR 72201
Tel: (501) 379-1700
Fax: (501) 379-170

Gill Elrod Ragon Owen & Sherman PA
425 West Capitol Avenue
Suite 3801
Little Rock, Arkansas 72201
Tel: (501) 376.3800

Links to Paralegal Support in the State

Paralegal Schools in Arkansas

Campus: Online

Welcome to Argosy University

Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges:  College of Behavioral Sciences, Graduate School of Business and Management, College of Education,  College of Health Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Creative Arts and Design, College of Clinical Psychology and Western State College of Law at Argosy University as well as certificate programs in many areas.

Programs:

  • Criminal Justice (BS) (Online)

Campus: Online

Kaplan University is focused on recognizing the achievements of military and veteran students and offers the flexibility of an online education. Eligible students can receive college credit for prior military experience and coursework—up to 75 percent of the credit needed for a Kaplan University undergraduate degree.*

Programs:

  • Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice and Criminology 
  • Associate of Applied Science In Public Safety and Security 
  • BS in Corrections
  • Associate of Applied Science in Legal Support and Services
  • AAS in Criminal Justice

Campus: Online

100% Online & No Standardized Testing

We are committed to helping you achieve your goals and complete your degree as quickly as possible.

Programs:

  • Bachelor of Science: Criminal Justice: Homeland Security
  • Bachelor of Science: Criminal Justice: Juvenile Justice
  • Bachelor of Science: Criminal Justice: Public Administration
  • Master of Science: Criminal Justice
  • Master of Science: Criminal Justice: Public Administration

Campus: Online

Since 1977, Keiser University has provided quality student-centered, career-focused education. Keiser University Online offers degree programs online to prepare students for in-demand professions. Degrees are offered with a curriculum that is in pace with technology and workforce demand trends in business, criminal justice, health care, information technology and more. Our “one-class-at-a-time” approach allows busy students to focus on their education and balance the demands of work and family.

 

Why Keiser University Online?

   

Online Convenience, Personalized Attention

Programs:

  • Criminal Justice, MA (Online)

Campus: Online

Regent University prepares students with the knowledge to excel and the faith to live with purpose. Our 20,000 alumni, from more than 110 countries, are changing the world as accomplished professionals. Named a top-15 school nationally for online bachelor's programs (U.S. News & World Report, 2015), Regent is among the most affordable undergraduate Christian colleges (CCCU 2015). Fully accredited, challenging programs are available online and on campus. New classes begin every eight weeks.

Programs:

  • Bachelor of Applied Science in Criminal Justice
  • Master of Laws - American Legal Studies
  • Bachelor of Arts in Leadership Studies - Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies - Criminal Justice

Campus: Online

Pursue your education at Ohio Christian University. Take classes online or on campus. Pursue your degree to help you start the career you want. Learn more now.

Programs:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice

Paralegal Jobs in Arkansas