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Maryland Paralegal Schools

Well-qualified paralegals in Maryland can find desirable and lucrative employment. About 1,300 paralegals are employed in Maryland, with the majority working in the Baltimore and Alexandria metro areas.1 Paralegals and legal assistants are expected to be in demand in Maryland in the coming years, and those who are interested in this career should consider completing a paralegal degree program. There are various campus-based and online programs in Maryland that can help candidates become competitive applicants in this growing field.

How to Become a Paralegal in Maryland

There are no state-level regulations for paralegals in Maryland regarding formal education or training requirements, though paralegals must work under the direct supervision of an attorney who takes all professional responsibility for the paralegal’s work. It is highly recommended that potential paralegals have formal, professional preparation for this job; due in part to Maryland’s proximity to Washington, DC, there are many highly qualified applicants for jobs in law offices. Therefore, a formal education in paralegal studies will help to tilt the scales in your favor in the eyes of potential employers. National certification can also be beneficial when competing for open positions.

Maryland Paralegal Salary and Job Outlook

The average annual salary for paralegals in Maryland in 2015 was $55,380, which was above the national average of $48,810.1 Many businesses are working to cut costs by hiring paralegals to do preliminary legal work, such as legal research and writing and initial drafts of legal documents, before bringing in an attorney to finalize the work. Based on these trends, Projections Central estimates jobs growth for paralegals in Maryland at 19.1% through 2024.2 This is significantly higher than the national average for paralegal jobs growth at 8%, and indicates that well-qualified paralegals in Maryland will have strong professional opportunities in the coming years.3

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, or Nurse Paralegal. Students also have the option of enrolling in the accelerated certificate program, which can be completed within just two semesters. A number of paralegal studies courses are offered online, a definite plus for those who work full-time or have other commitments.

The Community College of Baltimore County: An American Bar Association-approved Associate of Applied Science (AAS) 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 credit hours and requires one year to complete. Many paralegal studies courses are available online, offering flexible study options. 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; the Baltimore office is regularly 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 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

  • Maryland Association of Paralegals, Inc. – Exists to enrich the professional opportunities of its members, who are working paralegals as well as students currently attending paralegal programs in Maryland.

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 Occupational Outlook Handbook, Paralegals and Legal Assistants: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/legal/paralegals-and-legal-assistants.htm