Paralegal Education in New MexicoThe paralegal occupation in the state of New Mexico is not nearly as large as in more urbanized states, but it is growing as the state’s population and urban areas expand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, New Mexico is home to about 1,730 working paralegals, the majority of whom are located in Santa Fe and the Albuquerque metro area. On a national scale, paralegal jobs are expected to increase by about 28% in the next 6 years as law firms continue to save money by hiring legal assistants to perform duties traditionally performed by lawyers.
The average salary for a paralegal in New Mexico is modest at about $42,060, with an average hourly wage of $20.22. Private law firms are the largest employers of paralegals in New Mexico, although the state’s national laboratories and other government entities, as well as some large corporations, hire legal assistants as well.
The state of New Mexico defines a paralegal as someone who performs legal work while employed or contracting under a lawyer. In addition, licensed attorneys in New Mexico must supervise any paralegal working under them and are legally responsible for all legal assistant conduct. Like all US states, New Mexico prohibits paralegals and all non-licensed lawyers from practicing law, and will prosecute those who ignore this rule.
Aspiring legal assistants in New Mexico have a few options to start their career. They can earn a certificate or degree at a school, or become a paralegal informally via on-the-job training. However, paralegals who have earned a certificate from an accredited and endorsed program are usually given preference when applying for jobs. If a working paralegal is looking to pursue an official certificate or degree, then it may be worthwhile to ask for support from their employer.
Paralegals in New Mexico receive their certificate or degree when they pass an approved certification exam. Even paralegals who have received a certificate from their school are not “certified paralegals” until they pass one of these exams. These exams are provided by a few different organizations including the National Association of Paralegals (NALA), the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA), or the National Association for Legal Professionals (NALS).
|In USD as of Feb 21, 2013 (source: indeed.com)||25k||50k||75k|
|Paralegal in New Mexico $42,000||
Campus: El Paso, TX
- Criminal Justice
Educational EstablishmentsThe American Bar Association (ABA) is an influential organization that not only provides oversight of practicing attorneys, but also endorses law programs and colleges, including paralegal programs. An approval from the ABA proves a program’s credibility and high academic standard, and many employers require applicants to carry a certificate or degree from an ABA-endorsed program.
A school’s accreditation status – which is independent of a program’s endorsement – is provided by the US Department of Education. Accredited institutions have been proven to be legitimate and ethical and are a good bet when considering education options, as they will boost a starting paralegal’s credibility. Many employers require a certificate or degree from an accredited school, in addition to an ABA-endorsed school. Other employers may require one or the other, or may even have no requirements at all. For the most employment opportunities, it’s ideal to attend a school that is both accredited by the Department of Education and endorsed by the ABA, if possible.
New Mexico has only one paralegal school program endorsed by the American Bar Association:
Central New Mexico Community College is a public 2-year college located in Albuquerque, NM. This school offers an Associate of Applied Science degree and a post-baccalaureate certificate in its Paralegal Studies program. Internships are mandatory.
Firms of Interest
New Mexico is home to many prestigious law firms, with the majority located in Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Las Cruces. A few are listed below:
Hinkle, Hensley, Shanor & Martin LLP (with locations in New Mexico and Texas)
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87504
Atkinson & Kelsey, PA
2155 Louisiana Boulevard N.E., Suite 2000
Albuquerque, NM 87110
Toll Free: 800-640-3070
Scheuer, Yost & Patterson
125 Lincoln Avenue
P.O. Box 9570
Santa Fe, NM 87501
Other Resources for Paralegals
Campus: El Paso, TX
- Criminal Justice
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.
- Criminal Justice (BS) (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.*
- 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
100% Online & No Standardized Testing
We are committed to helping you achieve your goals and complete your degree as quickly as possible.
- 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
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
- Criminal Justice, MA (Online)
- Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice