Paralegal Career Planner – Fulfill your Promise in Mississippi

Paralegal Education in Mississippi

Flag of Mississippi

Flag of Mississippi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At one time the position of paralegal was considered a steppingstone to becoming an attorney: learning the ropes of the courtroom by observing a professional, working for a lawyer. In these days, paralegals or legal assistants are their own legal category, career positions that some lawyers even move into, away from the stress of the courtroom and still maintain vital, legal function and the sense of accomplishment. They perform a necessary and important role in and of themselves, sometimes putting in long hours to ensure an attorney is ready to go to court, researching and interviewing witnesses. Many consider it a fulfilling career. Certainly, it’s a growing one according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics who predicts the field will add over 250,000 new jobs by the year 2018.

Wages vary from location and even specialization. There is more than one area into which a paralegal can enter, from immigration paralegal, to nurse paralegal, to bankruptcy paralegal. A nonmetropolitan area will usually pay less than a metropolitan area too, but the career is known to pay well, with competitive benefits and salaries. While Mississippi does not require any specific amount of education in criminal law or paralegal studies, employers seek out those with immediate ability and competency. Generally speaking, the ones who are paid best are those who have engaged in a formal program geared toward their field; those with schooling also tend to enjoy better advancement opportunities and employment possibilities. It is still possible to get a paralegal position, especially in a smaller firm, that will teach as you go.

Salaries

In USD as of Feb 21, 2013 (source: indeed.com)35k70k105k
Paralegal in Mississippi $55,000
 

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Education and Certificates

Mississippi State Capitol

Mississippi State Capitol (Photo credit: Ken Lund)

A certificated paralegal is one who successfully completed a degree of some nature or a Post-Baccalaureate certification. Degrees can be Associate degrees (Associate of Art or AA, Associate of Science or AS), which tend to be two-year degrees, or a Bachelor degree, either Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science. Both would be four-year degrees completed at a University or private school. Also available are Master’s degrees and Juris Doctorates in criminal law or paralegal studies. A Post-Baccalaureate Certificate can be awarded to those who have already gained a BA or BS in any discipline, thereby satisfying all liberal study requirements, and have completed a Post-BA program course designed for their needs. This is usually the shortest option, taking a year to complete.

However, to become a Certified Paralegal the candidate has to sit for and pass a specialized test designed and sponsored by one of the three national Paralegal/Paraprofessional associations. There are four possible exams:

The exams put forth by these associations are recognized as showcasing the skills and competency of the paralegal. They look excellent on resumes and mean a great deal in professional circles. The requirements for each exam varies, so please study the chart.

While a school may be accredited and you definitely want that over non-accredited, it behooves the paralegal to find and attend a school that is ABA approved. The American Bar Association is highly regarded in the field and when it puts its stamp of approval on a school, it means the institution has reached or exceeded their very demanding expectations for excellence. There are two ABA approved schools in Mississippi:

Mississippi University for Women in Columbus is co-ed these days, public, and offers a BA or BS in Paralegal Studies. Depending on the degree (the BS has more credits), it can take anywhere from 3.5-4 years to graduate or 124 classroom hours. Internships are considered mandatory for completion.

University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg extends a four-year degree in Paralegal Studies. It takes 124 class hours to graduate, or about 4 years. The school boasts an active paralegal society that offers guest speakers, networking opportunities, and professional events. Internships are elective and encouraged, but not mandatory.

Paralegal Employment

While about 70% of all paralegals are employed by law firms, those are hardly the only employers. Government agencies, non-profit organizations, and even corporations are all hiring for knowledgeable, dedicated legal assistants. Law firms are by the far most visible and obvious market, though. Below are some of the largest in the state known to hire paralegals.

Wise Carter Child & Caraway, P.A.
401 East Capitol Street
Heritage Building, Suite 600
Jackson, MS 39201
Tel: 601.968.5500
Fax: 601.968.5593

Gulf Coast office location:
1105 30th Avenue
Suite 300
Gulfport, Mississippi 39501
Tel: 228.867.7141
Fax: 228.867.7142

Hattiesburg office location:
601 Adeline Street
Hattiesburg, MS 39401
Tel: 601.582.5551
Fax: 601.582.5556

Brunini, Grantham, Grower & Hewes, PLLC
The Pinnacle Building,
Suite 100
190 East Capitol Street
Jackson, MS 39201
Tel: 601-948-3101
Fax: 601-960-6902

Hand Arendall
1300 Highway 51
Suites A & B
Madison, Mississippi 39110
Tel: 601-605-6551
Fax: 601-853-9693

Adams and Reese
300 Renaissance
1018 Highland Colony Parkway, Suite 800
Ridgeland, MS 39157
Tel: 601.353.3234
Fax: 601.355.9708

McGlinchey Stafford
Suite 1100, City Centre South
200 South Lamar Street
Jackson , MS 39201
Tel: 601-960-8400
Fax: 601-960-8406

Mitchell McNutt & Sams
105 S. Front Street
P.O. Box 7120 (38802-7120)
Tupelo, MS 38804
Tel: 662-842-3871
Fax: 662-842-8450

508 Waldron Street
P.O. Box 1200 (38835-1200)
Corinth, MS 38834
Tel: 662-286-9931
Fax: 662-286-8984

215 Fifth Street North
P.O. Box 1366 (39703-1366)
Columbus, MS 39701
Tel: 662-328-2316
Fax: 662-328-8035

1216 Van Buren
Post Office Box 947
Oxford, MS 38655
Tel: 662-234-4845
Fax: 662-234-9071

Bradley Arant Boult Cummings
One Jackson Place
188 E. Capitol Street
Suite 400
Jackson, MS 39201
Tel: 601.948.8000
Fax: 601.948.3000

Paralegal Schools in Mississippi

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

CTU could help you connect to what matters most: a powerful professional community, faculty who are real-world professionals, and innovative technology. And several CTU degree programs are ranked by U.S. News & World Report for Best Online Programs in 2017.

Programs:

  • Doctor of Management - Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice – Human Services
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice - Homeland Security

Campus: Online

You’re serious about success. With your busy schedule and the desire to move your career forward, you can earn an accredited associate, bachelors or master’s degree at a pace that works for you anywhere, anytime, 24/7.

At AIU, the Serious U, you can get started to get ahead.

Programs:

  • Bachelor's (BSCJ) - Law Enforcement
  • Bachelor's (BSCJ) - Generalist
  • Bachelor's (BSCJ) - Corrections and Case Management
  • Bachelor's (BSCJ) - Homeland Security and Crisis Management

Campus: Online

Want to take your career to the next level? Salem University Online is the perfect place to start. Study online, from anywhere, and gain the skills you need to succeed.

Programs:

  • BA Criminal Justice - Law Enforcement
  • Associates of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • BA Criminal Justice - Administration of Justice
  • BA Criminal Justice - Corrections
  • BA Criminal Justice - Homeland Security

Campus: Online

  • Northcentral University was founded in 1996 to provide working professionals around the world with unprecedented access to richly engaging, professionally relevant, and academically-rigorous education from a U.S. university.
  • As a regionally accredited, private, online and graduate-focused university, NCU offers doctoral, master’s and bachelor’s degrees in business, technology management, education, and psychology, as well as doctoral and master’s degrees in marriage and family therapy.

Programs:

  • Doctor of Criminal Justice - Policing
  • Doctor of Criminal Justice - White Collar Crime
  • Master of Legal Studies
  • Doctor of Criminal Justice - Homeland Security

Campus: Online

Since 1977, Keiser University has maintained a practical, hands-on approach to career-focused education to help our students achieve their personal and professional goals.  Our student-centered approach remains at the foundation of the Keiser University mission and continues to attract students who prefer a more personal learning experience.

Programs:

  • Master of Arts in Homeland Security

Campus: Online

Violent extremism poses a serious threat to the safety of our citizens and the security of our nation. Military professionals, like you, who understand violent extremism and can develop strategies are critical to our defense. Nichols College is proud to support your efforts with a low cost way for active duty and reserve military personnel to earn a Master of Science in Counterterrorism.

 

Our reduced tuition for current service members aligns cost with your Federal Military Tuition Assistance — $250 per credit hour, up to $4,500 per year. Complete the 30-credit program in less than two years at no personal expense, or invest to graduate sooner!

 

Programs:

  • Master of Science in Counterterrorism