Indiana Paralegal Schools
For those interested in becoming a paralegal in Indiana, prospects look very good. Indiana employs 3,790 paralegals, and neighboring states of Illinois and Ohio boast some of the highest employment levels for paralegals in the country.1 Due to good prospects in the area, it makes sense for an aspiring paralegal to complete an Indiana paralegal degree or certificate program, in order to gain the skills needed to be competitive in this field. There are many campus-based and online paralegal degree programs in Indiana that allow students to obtain certification or a degree in paralegal or legal studies. Indiana paralegal programs can also benefit an aspiring paralegal by offering the ability to network and potentially find future employment through internships and other contacts within the program.
How to Become a Paralegal in Indiana
There are no specific requirements needed in Indiana to become a paralegal, other than the fact that a paralegal in Indiana, as in most states, must work under the direct supervision of a lawyer. An aspiring paralegal should either complete a structured paralegal program or have work experience to gain the needed skills for this type of employment. The Indiana Paralegal Association highly recommends that Indiana paralegals obtain a national credential in order to have as much employment marketability as possible. Credentialing occurs through a combination of education and experience.
Indiana Paralegal Salary and Job Outlook
The paralegal profession in Indiana has seen some very good growth recently, and is projected to continue growing. The Bureau of Economic Analysis looked at the gross domestic product for each state, and more specifically, at the Professional and Business Services, of which legal services is included. Indiana grew 6.9% from 2012 to 2013 in this area.2 This is nearly twice as much growth as the national average of 3.5%.2 The profession as a whole is projected to grow 17% by 2022, which is faster than average growth, when compared to other professions.1 In addition to good job availability, an Indiana paralegal has the potential to make a decent living. The average annual wage for a paralegal in Indiana was $43,370 in 2014.1 Salary will depend on qualifications and place of employment. For example, a highly qualified paralegal working for a large corporate firm will typically make more per year than a paralegal working for a small non-profit organization.
In general, the state employment outlook is below average. As of February 2015, Indiana had an unemployment rate of 5.9%, which ranked the state at 33 out of the 50 states and D.C.3 Despite these numbers, the paralegal profession continues to see growth, and an aspiring paralegal in Indiana can confidently pursue a career in a growing field.
Profiles of Well-Known Schools in Indiana
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College: Saint Mary of-the-Woods College has three American Bar Association approved paralegal programs: paralegal studies major, paralegal associate degree, and the paralegal certificate. The major is a full four-year degree while the associates and certificate are 72 hours and 27 hours respectively. Paralegal students can create their own social and professional circles with the Legal Assistants at the Woods (InLAW), which hosts Law Day every spring. The paralegal major has two distinct tracks: the litigation track and the personal law track.
Top Law Firms for Paralegal Graduates in Indiana
Bose McKinney & Evans has been ranked among US News’ Best Law Firms in multiple categories including Litigation-Trusts and Estate and Venture Capital Law, and has also been lauded by Fortune. Bose McKinney & Evans is proud to maintain a leadership position in the Indiana legal community, and is committed to diversity in all of its areas of operation. It partners experienced legal staff with new hires to ensure a successful transition to a new career. Barnes & Thornburg LLP, one of the largest law firms in Indiana, takes a client driven approach to legal representation in all of its US offices, which include offices in Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, and South Bend. Barnes & Thornburg is committed to quality in its practice and staff, and relies on highly skilled paralegals to drive its success. Lewis & Kappes is a large law firm with a small firm approach to business, relying on its efficiency and focus to meet client needs. The firm looks for talented paralegals to support its efforts, and welcomes applications at all times.
Paralegal Schools and Programs in Indiana
An asterisk indicates that one or more of the school’s programs have been approved by the American Bar Association (ABA).
Ball State University (Muncie)*
Bachelor of Science | Legal Studies
Bachelor of Science | Legal Studies: Business Option
Bachelor of Science | Legal Studies: Public Law Option
Calumet College of St. Joseph (Whiting, IN)
Bachelor of Science | Legal Studies
Associate of Science | Legal Studies
Associate of Applied Science | Office Administration: Legal
Minor | Legal Studies
Ivy Tech Community College (Bloomington; Columbus; Evansville; Fort Wayne; Gary; Indianapolis; Kokomo; Lafayette; Madison; Muncie; Richmond; Sellersburg; South Bend; Terre Haute)*
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies (online program)
Associate of Science | Paralegal Studies
Associate of Science | Paralegal Studies (online program)
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (Saint Mary-Of-The-Woods)*
Associate Degree | Paralegal Studies (online)
Bachelor of Science | Paralegal Studies: Litigation (online)
Bachelor of Science | Paralegal Studies: Personal Law (online)
Certificate | Paralegal Studies (online)
Vincennes University (Vincennes)*
Associate of Science | Paralegal
Associate of Science | Administrative Office Technology: Legal Concentration
Associate of Arts | Liberal Arts: Pre-law Concentration
Associate of Arts | Liberal Arts: Pre-law Concentration (transfer program)
*Approved by the American Bar Association (ABA)
- Indiana Paralegal Association – Establishes fellowship among its members and the legal community, and promotes a higher ethical order through continuing education and training opportunities.
- Michiana Paralegal Association – Works to promote the paralegal profession throughout Southwestern Michigan and Northwestern Indiana.
- Indiana State Bar Association – Advocates on behalf of its members, their clients, and the citizens of Indiana as an independent voice of the state’s legal profession.
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, Paralegals and Legal Assistants: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes232011.htm#ind
2. Bureau of Economic Analysis: http://www.bea.gov/
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Unemployment Rates for States: http://www.bls.gov/web/laus/laumstrk.htm