Oregon Paralegal Schools
There are few well-paying careers that have seen higher than average job growth, but Oregon paralegal schools help students get into one of them by offering the opportunity to earn a paralegal degree. The state of Oregon employed 2,740 paralegals in 2014, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with most of those being in the Portland-metro area.1 Oregon paralegals have one of the highest starting salaries for professional positions, and the ability to do a variety of work assisting attorneys. For these reasons, it can be a good decision for a person interested in becoming a paralegal to start their career by attending an Oregon paralegal school.
How to Become a Paralegal in Oregon
There are no set regulatory standards for the training or the education of a paralegal in the state of Oregon. An aspiring paralegal can enter the workforce by receiving an educational certification or by receiving on-the-job training. As with most other states, a paralegal must work under the direct tutelage of an attorney. This attorney also accepts the responsibility of the professional actions of the paralegal. The attorney must also make sure that the ethics and confidentiality measures are followed.
Oregon Paralegal Salary and Job Outlook
Paralegals in Oregon can expect a high annual salary, averaging $55,460 per year and $26.66 per hour, as reported in 2014.1 Projections Central predicts a 21.9% increase for the profession in Oregon through 2022, which is higher than the national growth rate, predicted at 16.7%.2 Similarly, the Bureau of Economics, which measures gross domestic product, including professional and business services, which includes paralegal services, reported an increase of 16.3% between 2012 and 2013, far more than the national average over the same period of 3.5%.3 For these reasons, the outlook for perspective paralegals in the state of Oregon is excellent, making it an ideal state in which to pursue an education in paralegal studies and to secure a job as a paralegal.
Profiles of Well-Known Schools in Oregon
Portland Community College: Portland Community College has two American Bar Association-approved paralegal programs: an Associate of Applied Science and a certificate. The AAS is a 90-hour degree with 45 hours set aside for paralegal classes, while the certificate is a 45-hour limited-admission course of study. Both AAS and certificate students must complete Introduction to Law (Fundamentals, Substantive Areas, and Ethics), Techniques of Interview, Legal Software, Legal Research and Library Use, Computer Research in Law, and Applied Legal Research and Drafting. Specialized courses span from Estate Planning to Income Tax Law, as well as from Immigration Law to Corporate Law Practice.
Top Law Firms for Paralegal Graduates in Oregon
National firm Stoel Rives LLP maintains its largest practice in Oregon, which is also the largest law practice in Oregon. Stoel Rives’ attorneys focus on corporate and industrial law, and within this scope the firm can handle nearly any litigation or transaction. This firm offers competitive benefits and a commitment to recognizing the contributions of its professional staff. Dunn, Carney, Allen, Higgins & Tongue, LLP is another of Oregon’s largest law firms, with over 70 years in business. Dunn Carney relies on paralegals to supplement the work of its attorneys in providing quality, cost-effective service, and consistently solicits resumes. Harrang Long Gray Rudnick P.C. has been ranked by US News as one of the nation’s best law firms. The scope of its practice is broad, offering paralegals the opportunity to work within many areas of the law.
Paralegal Schools and Programs in Oregon
An asterisk indicates that one or more of the school’s programs have been approved by the American Bar Association (ABA).
Pioneer Pacific College (HCI | Wilsonville)*
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies
Portland Community College (Portland)*
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal
Certificate | Paralegal
Umpqua Community College (Roseburg)
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal
Certificate | Legal Assitant
*Approved by the American Bar Association (ABA)
- Oregon Paralegal Association – The OPA exists to support members of the paralegal and legal assistant community of Oregon, offering conferences and opportunities for members to network and advance in the profession.
- Pacific Northwest Paralegal Association – PNPA is an organization dedicated to serving Oregon and southwest Washington paralegals by helping them build their skills and learn about trends in the market and leadership opportunities.
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
3. Bureau of Economic Analysis: http://www.bea.gov/