Your Ideal Idaho Paralegal Career Plan

Paralegal Education in Idaho

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Flag of Idaho (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Like many western states with low population density, Idaho’s paralegal field is small, but it is expanding as the state’s population grows. Idaho currently has only about 730 paralegals, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, who make up about 25% of all law professionals in the state. The majority of them are located in Idaho’s urban centers, such as Boise and Nampa. Thanks to a growing national trend in the legal assistant field, paraprofessional jobs are expected to increase by over 70,000 across the country in the next 6 years – a 28% increase.

The state of Idaho does not have certification or registration requirements, allowing aspiring paralegals to start their careers either in a program at an institution, or directly in the industry with on-the-job training in the workforce. However, the Idaho Association of Paralegals states that paralegals holding a certificate or degree are often given preference over those who receive only informal training. Some firms and companies may assist their paralegal employees in the pursuit of a formal certification or degree. If you’re receiving on-the-job training to become a paralegal and would like to increase your chances for increased salary and job security, consider asking your employer about educational opportunities or apply for online paralegal certification programs.

The Association for Paralegal Education (AAfPE) recommends that aspiring paralegals invest in a certification program that has at least 60 hours in the classroom in addition to an internship. The AAfPE also advises against taking 1-2 month long courses or classes taken online.

Paralegals attain their certificate when they pass one of the four approved certification exams. For additional clout when starting out in the job market, paralegals or paralegal students should consider joining an official paralegal organization, such as the Idaho Association of Paralegals, which can provide valuable connections, job opening lists and advice.

Salaries

The median salary of paralegals in Idaho is currently about $39,000. There is an estimated 252,250 working paralegals in the state, with a rise of about 1.3% in the past year. The largest employer of paralegals is private attorneys’ offices, but the government sector provides many jobs as well. According to the Idaho Rule of Conduct 5.3, paralegals are considered legal “paraprofessionals” and must work under the direct supervision of a bar-certified lawyer. Paralegals cannot provide legal advice, and their supervising must take full legal responsibility for all professional actions taken by them while employed. Paralegals who ignore this policy risk prosecution.

In USD as of Mar 4, 2013 (source: indeed.com) 25k 50k 75k
Paralegal in Idaho $39,000
 

Spotlight School

Educational Establishments

Nez Perce County Court House

Nez Perce County Court House (Photo credit: J. Stephen Conn)

To date, there is no single authority that regulates the paralegal profession in the US, and there is no state that provides paralegal licenses. Instead, the American Bar Association (ABA) serves to provide oversight, regulation and licenses to attorneys, as well as endorsement to colleges and programs. An approval from the ABA boosts both an institution and its students’ credibility, and many paralegal employers require a certificate or degree from an ABA-endorsed program.

School accreditation – different from an ABA endorsement – is provided by the US Department of Education. Many paralegal employers may also require applicants to carry a certificate or degree from an accredited institution. Some employers may only require one or the other, or even neither, but it’s a good idea to attend a school that is both accredited by the Department of Education and endorsed by the ABA if possible.

Idaho currently has only one school listed as approved by the American Bar Association:

University of Idaho College of Law is a public institution located in Moscow, Idaho with a branch campus in Boise that provides an Associate of Applied Sciences Paralegal Studies degree. It is the state’s only law school. Established in 1914, University of Idaho’s College of Law has held the American Bar Association since 1925.

Firms of Interest

Idaho is home to dozens of prestigious law firms, including several that have locations both nationally and worldwide. Below are just a few of these firms:

Givens Pursley LLP
601 West Bannock Street
Boise, Idaho 83702
Phone: 208-388-1200
Fax: 208-388-1300

Holland & Hart LLP (with offices nation-wide)
U.S. Bank Plaza
101 S. Capitol Boulevard, Suite 1400
Boise, ID 83702
Phone: 208-342-5000
Fax: 208-343-8869

Powers Tolman Farley PLLC (with offices in Twin Falls and Boise)
132 Third Ave East
Twin Falls, Idaho 83303
Phone: 208-733-5566
Fax: 208-733-5444

Other Resources for Paralegals

Paralegal Schools in Idaho

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

At Broadveiw University, we prepare students for exciting careers in high-value fields. Imagine getting paid for what you love doing. It all starts with career-based training at Broadview University.

Programs:

  • Associate in Applied Science in Paralegal
  • Bachelor of Science in Paralegal

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

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

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

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