Washington D.C. Career Planner for Paralegals

Paralegal Education in Washington D.C.

English: The flag of Washington, D.C. Česky: V...

The flag of Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The District of Columbia is known to have the greatest concentration of paralegals in the country per capita; over 6,000 of them, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2010 survey. For the full decade from 2002-2012, paralegals as a career field enjoyed the Top 40 Growth Occupation in D.C. It makes sense that the field is so in demand and the career so popular in what we like to consider our nation’s seat of power and justice. The Bureau of Labor Statistics claims the field will continue to grow well into 2018, with 250,000 new jobs opening.

A paralegal, or legal assistant, is usually a trained legal professional with substantive skill and knowledge of the legal sector and precedents. They adhere to a strict code of conduct that states no paralegal works outside of direct supervision of an attorney, never represents herself as a lawyer or charges for time as a lawyer, never gives legal advice and does not represent a client in the court of law. Otherwise, a paralegal can do just about anything a lawyer does, making them very desirable to employers who pay a fraction of an attorney’s fees for the same quality of work. Becoming a legal assistant is a career in its own right, no longer viewed as a stepping stone to becoming an attorney at law. The Rule of Professional Conduct present in every state (or District) adjudicates each assistant works under a supervising, practicing attorney who agrees to instruct the paralegal on professional ethics, confidentiality, and who becomes wholly responsible for an assistant’s professional conduct.

Salaries

In USD as of Mar 12, 2013 (source: indeed.com)35k70k105k
Paralegal in Washington $54,000
 

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Becoming Certificated or Certified

Washington DC: United States Supreme Court

Washington DC: United States Supreme Court (Photo credit: wallyg)

There is quite a difference between being certificated and being Certified: certificated is what a paralegal becomes once the program is completed and the diploma -or certificate- is earned. It can be an Associates degree, a Bachelor’s degree, a Master’s degree or a Post-Baccalaureate certificate. It can even be a Juris Doctorate or a secondary Bachelor’s degree. On the other side is the Certified Paralegal, a title that can only be claimed after a successful passing of a national exam. There are four exams showcasing a paralegal’s skills and core competencies and they are sponsored by one of three national paraprofessional associations. Requirements per exam vary, so refer to the chart beforehand. These exams and their sponsors are:

Choosing a School

The question of where to pursue higher learning is just as important as the choice to pursue it at all; there are criteria to consider and certain catch words that will grab an employer’s attention. The ABA, or American Bar Association, offers its approval to those paralegal or legal programs that meet its rigorous requirements. A legal program that is ABA approved is more desirable and more marketable than one that is not. In fact, some states and employers demand ABA approval, as the training results are markedly more thorough. An accredited school can be just as important; accreditation in granted by a private, regional or national authority that in essence proclaims the integrity of the school’s method of teaching and delivery. It is highly recommended that the aspiring paralegal choose an ABA approved program taught in an accredited school. D.C. has one ABA approved school on its soil and many more in neighboring areas.

Georgetown University in the District of Columbia is a four year school offering a certificate program in Paralegal Studies.

Associations

Over the years many local and national paraprofessional associations have grown up in an effort to enforce the professionalism and visibility of the legal assistant. Joining an association is recommended and can provide further education in the form of workshops and seminars, pro bono work to assist in community ties and the support of other paraprofessionals, job banking, and a general sense of seriousness concerning the career choice. (Or even if it is not a career choice.) Employers and other paraprofessionals look favorably upon it and many employers will even reimburse for association fees. There are the three national associations listed above, and some will even take students as members. Two more to consider for those paralegals living in the D.C. area are:

Law Firms of Interest

A paralegal has many choices when it comes to a workplace; they are hardly confined to law firms; but firms are understandably where a legal assistant looks for work especially when just entering the field. The D.C. area has a number of possible employer firms though many schools and associations also provide job placement assistance.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld
Robert S. Strauss Building
1333 New Hampshire Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20036-1564
T: 202.887.4000
F: 202.887.4288

Arent Fox
1717 K Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
P: 202.857.6000
F: 202.857.6395

Arnold and Porter
555 Twelfth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20004-1206
T: 202.942.5000
F: 202.942.5999

Covington and Burling
1201 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20004-2401
T: 202.662.6000
F: 202.662.6291

Crowell and Moring
1001 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20004-2595
T: 202.624.2500
F: 202.628.5116

Dickstein Shapiro
1825 Eye Street NW
Washington, District of Columbia
20006-5403
T: 202.420.2200
F: 202.420.2201

Zuckerman Spaeder LLP
1800 M Street, NW
Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20036-5807
T: 202.778.1800
F: 202.822.8106

Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr
1875 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20006
T:202 663 6000
F: 202 663 6363

Paralegal Schools in Alabama

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

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

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

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

  • 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

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