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Kansas Paralegal Schools

About 1,640 paralegals are employed in Kansas.1 While this is not a huge number, this field is growing in Kansas, and the state boasts a low unemployment rate at 3.8% as of June 2016.2,3 Entering a Kansas paralegal degree program can provide the skills needed to succeed as a paralegal. Structured programs can also provide the student with contacts for future job prospects and good networking opportunities. Internships will also give the aspiring paralegal some real-world experience before entering a competitive job market.

How to Become a Paralegal in Kansas

Kansas does not have any specific education requirements to be considered a paralegal. However, the Kansas Bar Association recommends that paralegals only be considered qualified if they have met certain requirements, including earning at least an associate’s degree from a program approved by the American Bar Association. National certification is also strongly recommended. Certification from organizations such as the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA) is contingent upon a combination of structured education and work experience.

Kansas Paralegal Salary and Job Outlook

The average annual salary for Kansas paralegals was $44,370 as of May 2015.1 Projections Central estimates that jobs growth for paralegals and legal assistants in Kansas will reach 16.9% through 2024, with an average of 60 annual openings expected in the state.2 Combined with a low unemployment rate, the general employment outlook for qualified paralegals in Kansas is good.

Profiles of Well-Known Schools in Kansas

Johnson County Community College: Johnson County Community College offers the only American Bar Association-approved programs in the Kansas City area: a Paralegal Associate of Arts and a paralegal certificate. The Associate of Arts and the certificate take 65 credit hours and 34 credit hours to complete, respectively. These paralegal courses of study are also approved by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). Full-time and adjunct professors with extensive legal backgrounds teach paralegal students enrolled in the school’s programs.

Washburn University: The Department of Criminal Justice and Legal Studies at Washburn University offers three paralegal programs: a Bachelor in Legal Studies (BLS), an Associate of Arts in Legal Studies, and a certificate in legal studies. The BLS is a four-year degree while the AA typically takes two years to complete. The certificate requires 36 credit hours. All Legal Studies students are required to complete Introduction to Law, Legal Research I, Litigation I, and Legal Writing. The School of Applied Sciences, in which the Department of Criminal Justice and Legal Studies is housed, has scholarships available for its declared majors.

Top Law Firms for Paralegal Graduates in Kansas

Foulston Siefkin LLP works in over 40 practice areas for a variety of clients from its three offices in Kansas, located in Wichita, Topeka, and Overland Park. Foulston Siefkin is proud to offer its staff the opportunity to work at a national level by leveraging its position as the largest law firm in Kansas, and focuses not only on recruiting top candidates but also on retaining its quality staff. Paralegals are afforded benefits similar to those of attorneys at the firm, including a tuition reimbursement benefit. Payne & Jones was established in 1926 and is headquartered in Kansas City. It specializes in several major practice areas, so paralegals at this firm have an opportunity to learn more about areas of law of particular interest. Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC has been in business for well over 100 years, and though it has locations in major metropolitan areas such as New York, it also offers its “big city expertise” in Kansas. It offers paralegals professional development and resources that are difficult for smaller firms to match.

Paralegal Schools and Programs in Kansas

An asterisk indicates that one or more of the school’s programs have been approved by the American Bar Association (ABA).

Hutchinson Community College (Hutchinson)
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal
Certificate | Paralegal

Johnson County Community College (Overland Park)*
Associate of Arts | Paralegal
Certificate | Paralegal
Certificate | Legal Administrative Assistant

Kansas City Kansas Community College (Kansas City)
Associate of Arts | Pre-Law
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal

Newman University (Wichita)
Associate of Science | Paralegal
Minor | Pre-Law

Washburn University (Topeka)
Associate of Arts | Legal Studies
Bachelor of Science | Legal Studies
Certificate of Completion | Legal Studies

*Approved by the American Bar Association (ABA)

Additional Resources

  • Kansas Association of Legal Assistants.Paralegals – Endorses a system of credentials for legal assistants and paralegals through certification, education, and specialized training.
  • Kansas Paralegal Association – Provides a local forum for the exchange of ideas, development, and continuing education, and also promotes the paralegal profession as a partner in the delivery of legal services.

References:
1. US Bureau of Labor Statistics May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wages, Paralegals and Legal Assistants: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes232011.htm
2. Projections Central Long Term Occupational Projections: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
3. US Bureau of Labor Statistics Local Area Unemployment Statistics, Unemployment Rates for States: http://www.bls.gov/web/laus/laumstrk.htm