Arkansas Paralegal Schools
Arkansas paralegal schools are the right fit for residents who want to get the education and experience they need to enter the workforce in a field with high demand and that offers a competitive wage. While wages for paralegals may not be as high as they are in other states, the low cost of living in the state makes earning a paralegal degree and becoming a paralegal in Arkansas an enticing option.
Profiles of Well Known Schools
NorthWest Arkansas Community College: NorthWest Arkansas Community College has an Associates of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies, one of the few American Bar Association approved programs in the state. Students must complete both college and major core courses, but have more flexibility with their electives. There are two distinct elective groups (Group A and Group B), from which majors can take either Paralegal or Work-related electives or Criminal Justice electives. The AAS in Paralegal Studies typically takes 24 months to earn, with the last two semesters dedicated to solely major advanced courses and electives with the option of pursuing an internship.
University of Arkansas – Fort Smith: The College of Applied Science and Technology at the University of Arkansas- Fort Smith offers an American Bar Association approved Associate of Applied Science- Legal Assistance and Paralegal. Students most often take two years to complete all 64/65 credit hours with the last two semesters spent taking advanced paralegal courses. Graduates are prepared to work within numerous professional legal offices having a variety of specialty courses under their belts like Real Estate Law, Business Organizations and Family Law. For individuals that have full day schedules, UAFS offers all of its paralegal classes at night on a rotating schedule.
How to Become a Paralegal in Arkansas
According to a recent survey, there are upwards of 2000 paralegals working within the state of Arkansas. In Arkansas, there is not a degree it specialized certificate that is required in order to work as a paralegal. An Arkansas Rule of Professional Conduct describes a paraprofessional as those who work under the direct supervision of an attorney. Under this rule, the supervising attorney takes all responsibility for the actions of the paraprofessional.
There are certificate and degree options for aspiring paralegals to pursue. Some employers may prefer that their paralegals be certificated. The median salary for paralegals in Arkansas is $36,820.00.
Coursework at Arkansas Paralegal Schools
Paralegals are involved in legal research and writing, interviewing witnesses and any aspect of law that doesn’t involve directly advising clients or representing them in court. Arkansas paralegal schools therefore cover a wide variety of coursework whether aspirants are working towards a two-year degree, four-year bachelor’s degree or certificate program. In addition to general education requirements, a heavy emphasis is placed on civil litigation, criminal law as well as legal writing and research.
Featured Paralegal Schools in Arkansas
There are currently two Arkansas paralegal schools certified by the American Bar Association, Northwest Arkansas Community College in Bentonville and the University of Arkansas in Fort Smith. Both offer two-year associate’s degree programs with NWACC offering either trial practice or an internship. Those considering online options for either reasons of cost or schedule may also want to research South University and Everest College, which offer programs based on national standards.
Top Law Firms for Paralegal Graduates in Arkansas
Provost Umphrey Law Firm, L.L.P. is among the top law firms in the US based on the number of its attorneys ranked among the Best Lawyers in America in the practice areas of Plaintiff Personal Injury and Product Liability. Its locations include an office in Little Rock, and it encourages its staff to be active in the community and demonstrate a commitment to excellence that matches the firm’s vision. Barber Law Firm is one of the oldest as well as one of the largest law firms in Arkansas, and counts among its clients local, regional, and multinational corporations, many of which are instantly recognizable names in business. Brown & James has over 115 attorneys across the US in its practice, including an office in Little Rock. The firm is growing rapidly and is seeking paralegal graduates to join its support staff. Benefits at Brown & James include a comprehensive training program, a diverse workplace, and flexible hours.
Arkansas Paralegal Salary and Job Outlook
The average salary for a paralegal in Arkansas is more than $37,000, with more than 90 percent making more than $24,000 per year. Those considering becoming a paralegal in Arkansas may have seen higher salaries in other states. Keep in mind that in Little Rock, the cost of living is about 40 percent cheaper than the national average. Plus, with major corporations like Wal-Mart nearby, there are good options for growth with multi-national firms.
Online and Arkansas Paralegal Schools
Paralegal Schools in Arkansas
NorthWest Arkansas Community College (Bentonville, AR)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies
Pulaski Technical College (North Little Rock, AR)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Technology
Certificate | Legal Secretarial
Southeast Arkansas College (Pine Bluff, AR)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate in Applied Science | Paralegal Technology
Page Edited by Charles Sipe.