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Kansas Paralegal Schools

Kansas currently employs about 1,970 paralegals.1 While this is not a huge number, this field is growing in Kansas and the nation. Additionally, there are several neighboring states whose employment prospects are much greater. It seems that a person wishing to be a paralegal in Kansas or a neighboring state can still confidently pursue a career in this profession. Entering a Kansas paralegal degree program can provide the skills needed to succeed as a paralegal in this area. Structured programs can also provide the student with contacts for future job prospects and good networking opportunities. Internships that are attached to some of the programs will also give the aspiring paralegal some real-world experience before entering a competitive job market.

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How to Become a Paralegal in Kansas

A paralegal in Kansas does not have any specific educational requirements to be considered a paralegal. This designation can be obtained through working in the field or a variety of degree programs. The Kansas Association of Legal Assistants endorses formal paralegal education, and encourages paralegals to be nationally credentialed. This type of credential is obtained through a combination of structured education and work experience.

Kansas Paralegal Salary and Job Outlook

The average annual salary for a Kansas paralegal is $41,600, which means a well-qualified paralegal has the potential to earn more in this growing field. The Bureau of Economic Analysis measures the gross domestic product of each state, but also analyzes the Professional and Business Sector, which includes legal services. Between 2012 and 2013 this field grew 7%.2 This growth is much higher than the national average of 3.5%. On the whole, it is predicted that the paralegal profession will grow 17% by 2022, which is considered a faster than average growth.1

The general employment outlook for Kansas is good. The state saw an unemployment rate of 4.2% in December of 2014, which put Kansas at number eleven in the nation out of all the 50 states and D.C.3 This rate is part of a steady decline in unemployment since June of 2009.3

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ABA-Approved Paralegal Schools in Kansas

The state of Kansas has one paralegal program that is approved by the American Bar Association. Additional programs in paralegal studies may be found through online options such as Kaplan University, Virginia College, and Westwood College.

  • Johnson Community College in Overland Park, KS offers an Associate of Arts, a post-secondary certificate, and a legal nurse consultant certificate .

Profiles of Well-Known Schools in Kanasas

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 are 65 hours and 34 hours respectively. Additionally, these paralegal courses of study are approved by the ACBSP (Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs). Seven full time and adjunct professors teach paralegal students, all of which have extensive legal backgrounds.

Washburn University: The Department of Criminal Justice and Legal Studies offers three American Bar Association approved programs: a Bachelor in Legal Studies (BLS), an Associate of Arts in Legal Studies and a Certificate in Legal Studies. The BLS is a full four year degree while the AA typically takes two years to complete and he Certificate is 36 hours. Regardless of what type of program one pursues, all Legal Studies students are required to complete Introduction to Law, Legal Research I, Litigation I, and Legal Writing. The School of Applied Sciences, under which the Department of Criminal Justice and Legal Studies fall, has scholarships available for its declared majors.

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Top Law Firms for Paralegal Graduates in Kansas

Foulston Siefkin LLP works in over 40 practice areas for a variety of clients, from established businesses to individuals 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.

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Online and Kansas Paralegal Schools

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Paralegal Schools in Kansas

Brown Mackie College (Lenexa, KS; Salina, KS)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal
Diploma | Paralegal Assistant

Cloud County Community College (Concordia, KS)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Certificate | Paralegal Studies

Hutchinson Community College (Hutchinson, KS)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate in Applied Science | Paralegal

Johnson County Community College (Overland Park, KS)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Arts | Paralegal
Certificate | Paralegal

Kansas City Kansas Community College (Kansas City, KS)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate in Applied Science | Paralegal

National American University (Overland Park, KS)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies
Bachelor of Science | Paralegal Studies

Newman University (Wichita, KS)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Science | Paralegal

Washburn University (Topeka, KS)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal
Associate of Arts | Legal Studies
Bachelor Degree | Legal Studies

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, continuing education, and also promotes the paralegal profession as a partner in the delivery of legal services

References:
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Outlook: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes232011.htm#st
2. Bureau of Economic Analysis: http://www.bea.gov/
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/web/laus/laumstrk.htm