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New Mexico Paralegal Schools

About 1,580 paralegals were employed in New Mexico as of 2015, with the majority (1,090) working in the Albuquerque area.1 New Mexico paralegal schools provide specialized training and pathways for earning a paralegal degree in a fast-growing field with strong prospects. New Mexico paralegals are employed by attorneys at law firms, corporate finance, and legal departments, as well as agencies at all levels of government.

How to Become a Paralegal in New Mexico

Though there is no specific education required by law to become a paralegal in New Mexico, the New Mexico Bar Association has set voluntary guidelines for paralegal qualifications. As a result, most employers strongly prefer applicants with a degree in paralegal studies. Candidates who hold national certification from the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA) or the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) enjoy a competitive edge in the jobs market.

New Mexico Paralegal Salary and Job Outlook

The average paralegal salary in New Mexico was $41,480 as of 2015.1 During the same time frame, paralegals in the Las Cruces area earned a higher average, at $47,130.1 The outlook for paralegals in New Mexico is not as strong as other states. The profession is expected to grow by 1.9% in the state through 2024, which is lower than the national average for the profession at 8%.2,3 With tight competition, prospective paralegals will be more marketable if they have a degree in paralegal studies and a recognized certification credential when applying for jobs.

Profiles of Well-Known Schools in New Mexico

Central New Mexico Community College: The School of Health, Wellness, and Public Safety at Central New Mexico Community College has the only American Bar Association-approved paralegal programs in the state with its Associate of Applied Science (AAS) and post-degree certificate of completion in paralegal studies. The AAS prepares graduates for employment upon graduation or transfer to a four-year university, while the 32-credit hour certificate is designed for those who already possess a two- or four-year degree. Students from both courses of study must complete courses in Introduction to Paralegal Studies, American Law and Ethics, Torts, Legal Research and Writing, and Civil Litigation. All majors are required to pursue an internship during their final semester within a designated law office in the Albuquerque area.

Doña Ana Community College: One of the many professional degrees offered by Doña Ana Community College in Las Cruces, New Mexico is the paralegal studies Associate of Applied Science. The program requires between 69 and 76 credit hours to complete, with at least 34 credit hours dedicated to paralegal courses, including Legal System for the Paralegal, Legal Terminology, Virtual Law Office, and Litigation for the Paralegal. Additionally, students must complete substantial coursework in related professional courses, including Accounting Procedures I, Work Readiness and Preparation, Keyboarding Basics, and Information Processing. Majors can earn up to six credit hours through an internship.

Top Law Firms for Paralegal Graduates in New Mexico

As one of the largest law firms in New Mexico, Miller Stratvert PA offers comprehensive legal services in 20 practice areas, with strong experience in civil practice and complex litigation. Miller Stratvert offers its staff challenging work with rewarding compensation and benefits. Resumes from interested applicants are always accepted. Rodey Law Firm has offices in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, with departments devoted to business and litigation. Rodey Law Firm is firmly committed to diversity, believing that this focus makes it a better law firm and a better place for staff to work. Rodey promises a stimulating work environment with cooperation and support. Also in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, Modrall Sperling has been ranked by the Best Lawyers in America, Southwest Super Lawyers, US News, and many other prestigious publications. Modrall Sperling needs qualified paralegals to support its expanding practice.

Paralegal Schools and Programs in New Mexico

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

Central New Mexico Community College (Albuquerque)*
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies
Associate of Arts | Pre-Law
Post-Degree Certificate of Completion | Paralegal Studies

New Mexico State University-Alamogordo (Alamogordo)
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies
Certificate | Legal Assistant/Paralegal

New Mexico State University-Dona Ana Community College (Las Cruces)
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies

San Juan College (Farmington)
Associate of Applied Science | Legal Assistant/Paralegal

Santa Fe Community College (Santa Fe)
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies
Associate of Arts | Legal Studies
Certificate | Law Office Administrative Assistant
Certificate | Legal Secretary
Certificate | Paralegal Studies

*Approved by the American Bar Association (ABA)

Additional Resources

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