A Guide for Future Paralegal Professionals in Wyoming

Paralegal Education in Wyoming 

Flag of Wyoming

Flag of Wyoming (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The paralegal and legal assistant profession in the state of Wyoming is currently modest, but like the rest of the nation, it is experiencing a period of healthy growth. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that there are only about 450 paralegals currently located in Wyoming, with the majority of professionals based out of Casper, Jackson and other cities and urban areas. Overall, paralegal jobs in the US are estimated to grow within the next decade, leading to 70,000 new jobs. This strong upward trend for paralegals is largely due to the legal industry’s new tendency to hiring paralegals, rather than expensive lawyers, for more legal work.

In the Wyoming Rule of Professional Conduct 5.3, the term “paralegal” is not defined, but instead, all legal assistants who are not licensed attorneys are considered “paraprofessionals.” State law requires that only licensed attorneys may practice law, and their legal assistants cannot provide any legal services, including legal advice, unless under the supervision of a lawyer, who in turn is responsible for their professional actions. To date, the state of Wyoming doesn’t mandate any certification or registration for working paralegals.

To begin their career, aspiring legal assistants located in Wyoming have a couple options: they may either enroll in a Paralegal Studies program at a school, or may earn the title directly through training in the workforce. When it comes to getting hired, however, paralegals with formal educations and degrees are often preferred by employers. If possible, it’s best to earn a certificate or degree in paralegal studies for the largest array of employment opportunities. For those working as paralegals without a certificate or degree, it may be worthwhile to speak to your employer about supporting higher education — some employers may be willing to provide financial assistance towards a formal degree or certificate.

To become certified, paralegals must take and pass a national approved certification exam. Becoming a member of professional paralegal organization, such as the local Legal Assistants of Wyoming, which is an affiliate of the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA). Whether national or local, professional organizations are worth joining. For a small membership fee, these associations provide valuable network ties, access to exclusive job listing, and community outreach opportunities. Being a member of a recognized professional organization also looks great on a resume.

Salaries

The current average annual salary for legal assistants in Wyoming is about $44,000 . The majority of paralegals in this state are provided employment by private law firms, although some paralegals are also hired by corporations and government branches as well.

In USD as of Mar 12, 2013 (source: indeed.com)25k50k75k
Paralegal in Wyoming $44,000
 

Spotlight School

Educational Establishments 

Wyoming State Capitol

Wyoming State Capitol (Photo credit: jimmywayne)

There is no national authority to monitor or regulate the paralegal certification process in the US. Instead, the American Bar Association (ABA) provides the oversight of law studies education and provides endorsements to college programs that meet its strict education criteria. Paralegal programs are not required to seek ABA endorsement, but an approval this influential organization shows a program’s credibility and quality. Many programs, therefore, seek their approval for all law studies programs. Because of this, many law firms and other paralegal employers require applicants to receive their education from an ABA-endorsed program.

While the ABA focuses on a law program’s quality, the US Department of Education seeks to ensure the legitimacy of a college or university as a whole. This accreditation status is increasingly important to both students who seek legitimate and ethical education, and employers who hire them. Many employers do not have any requirements for paralegal education, but earning a certificate or degree from a school program that has both a Department of Education accreditation and an ABA endorsement will go a long way in providing the best paralegal training possible, and the most employment opportunities after graduation.

The state of Wyoming is currently home to only two paralegal school programs that have an American Bar Association endorsement. Both programs are held in public, 2-year colleges:

Casper College – Casper College offers both an Associate degree and a Post-baccalaureate Certificate through its Paralegal Studies program. In addition, the Paralegal Associate degree transfers easily, allowing students to pursue their Bachelor’s in a related field. Internships are encouraged, but not required to graduate from the program.

Laramie County Community College – Located in Laramie County, with another campus in Cheyenne, this college also offers students an Associate of Applied Science degree as well as a Post-baccalaureate Certificate through its Paralegal program. The Associate degree in Paralegal Studies takes a minimum of 64 credit hours to complete.

Firms of Interest 

Many prestigious law firms are located in Wyoming, and most employ paralegals. Below are just a few firms with offices in this state:

Gary Shockey Law, PC
480 South Cache Street
Jackson, WY 83001
Phone: 307-733-5974

Holland & Hart LLP (with offices nation-wide)
25 South Willow Street, Suite 200
P.O. Box 68
Jackson, WY 83001
Phone: (307) 739-9741
Fax: (307) 739-9744

Dixon & Dixon LLP
Suite 600, First Interstate Bank Building
104 South Wolcott
Casper, Wyoming 82601
Phone: (307) 234-7321
Fax: (307) 234-0677

Other Resources for Paralegals

Paralegal Schools in Wyoming

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

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

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

  • 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