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South Carolina Paralegal Schools

Many South Carolina paralegal schools have noticed a spike in applications as more prospective students take note of the rising demand for well-qualified paralegals in the state and across the nation. Legal administration, specifically in the paralegal field, is a dynamic industry that is seeing growth in all areas of the US. In South Carolina, specifically, 5,120 paralegals were employed in 2014, with the greatest concentrations in the Columbia, Greenville, and Charleston-metro areas.1 Many more paralegals are employed in the surrounding states of North Carolina and Georgia, making South Carolina a good place to pursue an education in paralegal studies.1

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How to Become a Paralegal in South Carolina

While there are no special training or educational requirements to become a paralegal in South Carolina, it does help to start by pursuing a degree in paralegal studies. The knowledge gained from paralegal coursework will better prepare graduates for their duties as a paralegal, as well as make them more competitive in the job market. Many paralegal programs in South Carolina also offer internships, giving students real-world experience working at a law office with lawyers and other paralegals. As with other states, paralegals in South Carolina are prohibited from giving legal advice to the general public, and must work under the direct supervision of a licensed attorney.

Paralegal Quote: “Surround yourself with a group of people who work as a team with a common goal. There is no room for egos as a paralegal. Success comes by doing what it takes to obtain the goal.” -Natalie C. Butrym, Board Member of the Palmetto Paralegal Association

South Carolina Paralegal Salary and Job Outlook

South Carolina’s paralegal opportunities are growing along with the rest of the nation, and the average salary in the state in 2014 was $42,410, or $20.39 per hour.1 Though this average salary is on the low side for paralegals, the surrounding states offer higher than average salaries. The average salary in North Carolina for the same year was $44,120 and $55,210 in Georgia.1 The outlook is also good for South Carolina paralegals. Projections Central predicts that paralegals/ legal assistants in the state will grow by 20.1% through 2022, higher than the national average of 16.7%.2

ABA-Approved Paralegal Schools in South Carolina

There are several South Carolina paralegal schools that have the American Bar Association certification. They include:

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Profiles of Well-Known Schools in South Carolina

Greenville Technical College: Under the Public Service Programs at the Greenville Technical College is the American Bar Association-approved paralegal program – an Associate in Applied Science. This is a 64-credit hour program with classes that are offered during both day and night hours. Introduction to Law and Ethics must be completed within the first semester, and Legal Bibliography and Legal Writing are both mandatory for the second semester. The Internship for Paralegal course is optional for students, but few forgo the opportunity to gain professional experience before graduation.

Midlands Technical College: The Business and Public Service Department at Midlands Technical College in Columbia, South Carolina offers an American Bar Association-approved Paralegal Associate in Applied Science and paralegal certificate. The AAS is a 60 credit hour, two-year degree while the paralegal certificate is a 24-credit hour post-baccalaureate course of study. Core major courses for both plans include Introduction to Law and Ethics, Torts, Business Law I, Family Law, and Civil Litigation I. Certificate students enroll in only legal courses while AAS students must complete 18 hours of general education requirements.

Top Law Firms for Paralegal Graduates in South Carolina

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP is a leading South Carolina law firm, and has been ranked by Chambers USA, US News, The Legal 500 and many others within the top bands of law practice. The firm represents clients from across the East Coast, and looks to hire diverse candidates as part of its paralegal recruiting approach. Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP was founded more than 125 years ago in Winston-Salem, and still bases its business out of South Carolina. Womble Carlyle aims to provide its staff with more than a paycheck, by focusing on career development, a positive work environment, and growth opportunities. Turner Padget Graham & Laney, P.A. has been recognized by Benchmark Litigation, Chambers USA, Super Lawyers, and Best Lawyers in America as a top law firm. The firm accepts resumes from qualified paralegals.

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Online and South Carolina Paralegal Schools

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Paralegal Schools in South Carolina

Brown Mackie College (Greenville, SC)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate Degree | Paralegal
Certificate | Assistant Paralegal

Greenville Technical College (Greenville, SC)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies

Horry-Georgetown Technical College (Conway, SC)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Legal Assisting/Paralegal
Certificate | Paralegal Specialist

Midlands Technical College (West Columbia, SC)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Science | Paralegal Studies

Miller-Motte Technical College (North Charleston, SC)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies

Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College (Orangeburg, SC)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal

South University (Columbia, SC)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Science | Paralegal Studies
Bachelor of Science | Paralegal Studies

Technical College of the Lowcountry (Beaufort, SC)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal
Certificate | Paralegal Specialist

Trident Technical College (Charleston, SC)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal

Virginia College (North Charleston, SC)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate Degree | Paralegal Studies
Bachelor Degree | Paralegal Studies

Additional Resources:

South Carolina Upstate Paralegal Association – SCUPA is an organization affiliated with the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA), and promotes the furthering education of paralegals in South Carolina, encouraging a high order of ethical and professional attainment.

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