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Maryland Paralegal Schools

A well-qualified paralegal in Maryland will likely find desirable and lucrative employment. Currently, Maryland employs 5,730 paralegals, with the majority of these being found in the Baltimore and Alexandria metro areas.1 Because this profession seems to be in demand in Maryland, there are a variety of paralegal degree programs available there. There are campus-based and online programs that will suit the needs of an aspiring paralegal in Maryland. A structured program can help a person be competitive in this growing field.

How to Become a Paralegal in Maryland

There are no regulations for paralegals regarding formal education or training requirements.
Aspiring paraprofessionals can enter the workforce by either attending on the job training, educational programs, or a combination of both. In the state of Maryland, paralegals must also work under the direct supervision of an attorney who will also take all professional responsibility for their actions.

Although the state of Maryland does not have any special educational requirements for paralegals, it is highly recommended that potential paralegals have some sort of professional preparation for this job. Due in particular to its proximity to Washington, D.C., there may be many applicants who are searching for jobs in law offices. Therefore, any formal education in paralegal studies will help to tilt the scales in your favor in the eyes of potential employers.

Maryland Paralegal Salary and Job Outlook

The average annual salary for paralegals in Maryland in 2014 was $54,540, which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects significant growth in the paralegal field over the next decade. There are several reasons for this, including that many businesses are attempting to cut costs by hiring paralegals to do much of the preliminary or foundational legal work (such as legal research and writing, meeting with clients, and initial drafts of legal documents), before bringing in an attorney to finalize the work, who may ultimately try the case in court. In Maryland, the growth expected is a little slower than normal, at 8.4% through 2022, while the national average rate for the profession is 16.7%.2

Profiles of Well-Known Schools in Maryland

Anne Arundel Community College: The Anne Arundel Community College Paralegal Studies Institute has two American Bar Association-approved programs: The paralegal studies associate degree and the paralegal studies certificate. The paralegal certificate has five concentration options: Business, General Practice, Litigation, Accelerated, and Nurse Paralegal. Students also have the option of enrolling in the accelerated certificate program, which can be completed within just two semesters. A large portion of paralegal studies courses are offered online, a definite plus for those who have full daytime schedules.

The Community College of Baltimore County: An American Bar Association-approved Associate of Applied Science and paralegal studies certificate are offered by the Community College of Baltimore County. The AAS consists of 62 to 63 credit hours and is typically completed within two years, while the paralegal studies certificate is 31 hours and requires only a year long commitment. Many paralegal studies courses are available online for those who for a variety of reasons are unable to attend face-to-face classes. All students are required to complete the introductory courses of Introduction to Law, Legal Research and Writing for Paralegals, and Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.

Top Law Firms for Paralegal Graduates in Maryland

Semmes, Bowen & Semmes has offices throughout Maryland, and is one of the oldest and largest full-service law firms in the state. Since its foundation in 1887, Semmes has been a leader in maritime law and is now a leader in other areas of the law, including workers’ compensation and employers’ liability defense. Semmes regularly accepts resumes from qualified paralegals interested in joining its practice. Silverman, Thompson, Slutkin & White LLC has experienced attorneys with diverse career backgrounds working on its team, and is known for undertaking high-profile civil suits and criminal cases. These interesting cases are one of the benefits of working at Silverman Thompson; other benefits include 100% health insurance and a dedication to work-life balance. Hogan Lovells US LLP is an international firm with offices in Baltimore, and the Baltimore office was recently recognized for its work in several practice areas by Chambers USA. There are numerous reasons to start a paralegal career at Hogan Lovells, including its diverse practice areas and its competitive benefits.

Paralegal Schools and Programs in Maryland

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

Anne Arundel Community College (Arnold)*
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies: Business
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies: General Practice
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies: Litigation
Certificate | Paralegal Studies: Accelerated
Certificate | Paralegal Studies: Accelerated General Practice
Certificate | Paralegal Studies: Business
Certificate | Paralegal Studies: General Practice
Certificate | Paralegal Studies: Litigation
Certificate | Paralegal Studies: Nurse Paralegal

Chesapeake College (Wye Mills)
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies
Certificate | Paralegal Studies

College of Southern Maryland (La Plata)
Associate of Science | Legal Studies
Non-credit Certificate | Legal Secretary (online)
Non-credit Certificate | Paralegal (online)

Community College of Baltimore County (Baltimore)*
Associate of Applied Science | Legal Studies
Associate of Applied Science | Office Administration: Legal Office Administration
Certificate | Paralegal Studies
Certificate | Legal Aspects of Construction
Certificate | Legal Office Administration

Frederick Community College (Frederick)
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies
Certificate | Paralegal Studies

Hagerstown Community College (Hagerstown)
Associate of Arts | Paralegal Studies
Certificate | Paralegal Studies

Harford Community College (Bel Air)*
Associate of Applied Science | Criminal Justice: Legal Studies
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies: Legal Studies
Certificate | Paralegal Studies

Montgomery College (Rockville, MD)
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies
Certificate | Paralegal Studies
Letter of Recognition | Legal Analysis

Prince George’s Community College (Largo)
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal/Legal Assistant
Associate of Arts | General Studies: Pre-Law
Certificate | Paralegal/Legal Assistant

Stevenson University (Stevenson)*
Bachelor of Science | Legal Studies
Second Bachelor’s Degree | Paralegal Studies
Master of Science | Forensic Studies: Legal Track
Minor | Legal Studies
BS to MS Option | Legal Studies
Program | Pre-Law

University of Maryland-University College (Adelphi)
Bachelor of Science | Legal Studies (online)
Minor | Law for Business

*Approved by the American Bar Association (ABA)

Additional Resources

References:
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, Paralegals and Legal Assistants: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes232011.htm#ind
2. Projections Central: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm