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Mississippi Paralegal Schools

In 2014, Mississippi employed 1,490 paralegals, most of whom were situated in the Jackson area.1 Mississippi paralegal schools have seen a greater influx of students as more people begin taking advantage of the job growth in the legal market. Paralegal job opportunities are increasing with great speed as more firms look to administrative professionals to fulfill tasks normally left to attorneys. Mississippi schools offer prospective paralegals a solid place to start their careers.

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How to Become a Paralegal in Mississippi

People who would like to become a paralegal in Mississippi have a variety of options. The state does not have any education or training requirements for paralegals, meaning that prospective paralegals can choose to attend a school to attain a paralegal degree or be hired at a law firm and learn the trade on the job.

Paralegal Quote: “The best piece of advice I have received came early in my career when I was told to ‘speak up’. Meaning that if the attorney you are working for is incorrect in any aspects, from procedures to laws, speak up. Our duties are not only to assist attorneys, but to keep them on the right track. This is especially true when you are a veteran paralegal and you are working for a green attorney.” -Donna C. Alderman ACP, President of the Mississippi Paralegal Association

Mississippi Paralegal Salary and Job Outlook

Paralegals in Mississippi made $44,160 average in 2014, and $48,540 in the Jackson-area, which is right around the national average.1 Considering that the state boasts a 10.9% lower cost of living than the rest of the US, these average salaries will go much further than in other states.2 The outlook for paralegals in the state is also positive. Through 2022, paralegal jobs are expected to grow by 14.9% through 2022, which is just slightly lower than the national average for the profession, but still high.3 Between 2012 and 2013, in the professional and business services sector, which includes the paralegal profession, Mississippi grew by 4.3%, faster than the national average of 3.5%.4 These statistics are encouraging for anyone considering becoming a paralegal in the state of Mississippi.

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ABA-Approved Paralegal Schools in Mississippi

There are two Mississippi paralegal schools that are approved by the American Bar Association certification. They include:

Profiles of Well-Known Schools in Mississippi

Mississippi University for Women: The College of Business and Legal Studies at the Mississippi University for Women has both a Bachelor of Arts in paralegal studies and a Bachelor of Science in paralegal studies. Both courses of study are approved by the American Bar Association and consist of 124 credit hours. All students are required to complete lower level major courses such as Introduction to the Legal Profession, Legal Bibliography and Research (I and II), Law Office Tech and Management, and the Legal Environment of Business. The Practical Legal Lab is similar to an internship, in which students are assigned to a professional setting based on their specialization.

University of Southern Mississippi: The University of Southern Mississippi’s Department of Political Science, International Development and International Affairs has an American Bar Association-approved Bachelor of Arts in Paralegal Studies. This 124 hour degree has 36 of its credits dedicated to major courses and 12 dedicated to a single foreign language. Internships in Paralegal Studies is an elective, but many students decide to complete it over the summer months. Paralegal studies juniors have the opportunity to receive financial assistance is they apply for the Frank D. Montague, Jr. Paralegal Studies Endowment.

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Top Law Firms for Paralegal Graduates in Mississippi

Wise Carter Child & Caraway P.A. is a constantly growing law firm that seeks to understand its clients’ business goals in order to provide exceptional representation. Many clients of Wise Carter are high profile, including Ace USA, Inc., G.E. Med Pro, the Coca-Cola Company, Safeco Insurance Company, and other notable names. Wise Carter encourages all of its staff to engage in pro bono work, both legal and otherwise; the firm regularly partners with clients to work with Habitat for Humanity and similar charitable services. Brunini, Grantham, Grower & Hewes PLLC has over one hundred years of history, and is now one of the largest law firms in Mississippi as well as one of the most respected. Its client list comprises Fortune 500 companies and smaller companies, all of which benefit from Brunini Grantham’s focus on commercial, litigation, and regulatory law. Brunini Grantham offers some of the highest compensation in the region, and welcomes applicants to its professional staff. Hand Arendall LLC works in civil practice, focusing on maximizing efficiency and results for its clients. From its offices in Jackson and elsewhere Hand Arendall works with clients based in Alabama, Mississippi, and the Florida Panhandle in a variety of practice areas where paralegal help is crucial.

Online and Mississippi Paralegal Schools

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Paralegal Schools in Mississippi

Hinds Community College (Raymond, MS)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Court Reporting Technology
Associate of Arts | Paralegal Studies
Certificate | Court Reporting Technology
Certificate | Paralegal Technology

Holmes Community College (Goodman, MS)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Technology

Itawamba Community College (Fulton, MS)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate in Science | Paralegal

Mississippi College (Clinton, MS)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Science | Paralegal Studies
Certificate | Paralegal Studies

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College (Perkinston, MS)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Technology | Paralegal Technology

Mississippi University for Women (Columbus, MS)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts | Paralegal Studies
Bachelor of Science | Paralegal Studies

Northeast Mississippi Community College (Booneville, MS)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Technology

Northwest Mississippi Community College (Senatobia, MS)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Technology
Associate of Applied Science | Pre-Paralegal Studies

The University of Mississippi (University, MS)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Professional Studies | Paralegal Studies

University of Southern Mississippi (Hattiesburg, MS)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts | Paralegal Studies

Virginia College (Biloxi, MS)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associates of Science | Paralegal Studies
Bachelor of Science | Paralegal Studies (online program)

Additional Resources:

Mississippi Paralegal Association – Dedicated to the paralegal profession in the state of Mississippi, promoting professional development, continuing education, and national certification.

References:
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2014: Paralegals and Legal Assistants: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes232011.htm
2. Sperling’s Best Places: Mississippi: http://www.bestplaces.net/state/mississippi
3. Projections Central: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
4. Bureau of Economic Analysis: http://www.bea.gov/