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Washington DC Paralegal Schools

Washington DC is the 23rd most populous city in the United States, and in 2014 employed 5,750 paralegals, with the highest concentration of paralegals in the country.1 The metropolitan area that includes DC, Arlington, and Alexandria employed almost twice that many: 9,850 paralegals.1 Washington DC has a huge legal community and paralegals play a key role at thousands of law firms, government agencies, and corporations in the area. Paralegal schools in the Washington DC area offer specialized training for individuals interested in the interesting and always changing legal field without having to spend several years and many thousands of dollars on a law degree.

How to Become a Paralegal in Washington DC

To become qualified to work as a paralegal in DC, a common path is to earn a paralegal degree at an accredited college. While there is no particular educational requirement for DC paralegals, earning a degree can also help you attain a national paralegal certification such as the Certified Paralegal or Registered Paralegal certification, which can help you secure a job. Individual employers have varying levels of education requirements for job candidates.

Washington DC Paralegal Salary and Job Outlook

While some new law school grads have struggled to find employment during the economic downturn, the market for paralegals has been more favorable due to factors like the lower cost to employers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for paralegals in Washington DC in 2014 was $74,930 per year, or $36.03 per hour, the highest in the nation by far.1 The metropolitan area including DC, Arlington, and Alexandria is the highest-paying metropolitan area for paralegals in the US, with an average salary of $69,880.1 The outlook for DC paralegals is solid too, with a growth of 9.2% expected by 2022.2 Several factors are contributing to the demand for paralegals including retiring baby boomers, a growing population that will need legal services, and the growth of prepaid legal services.

Profiles of Well-Known Schools in Washington DC

George Washington University: The paralegal studies graduate certificate and master’s degree are both offered through the College of Professional Studies at George Washington University. Both programs were certified in association with the GWU Law School with classes offered at the Foggy Bottom Campus or online. The graduate certificate consists of 18 credits, while the master’s degree is 32 credits. The core course sequence for both plans includes American Jurisprudence, Legal Research and Writing, Litigation, and Corporate and Contracts Law.

Top Law Firms for Paralegal Graduates in Washington DC

Williams & Connolly LLP has been recognized for its top tier performance by such publications as the Vault Guide, The National Law Journal, Chambers USA, and The American Lawyer. Williams & Connolly is a global firm, but maintains only one office, which is located in Washington, DC. Williams & Connolly is interested in recruiting exceptional paralegal candidates with developed skills. BuckleySandler LLP has also been recognized for excellence by Chambers USA, as well as The Legal 500, Super Lawyers, and Smart CEO. It represents primarily corporate and business clients in related areas of the law. BuckleySandler supports the personal and professional growth of its staff, and welcomes inquiries from qualified paralegal candidates. Sidley Austin LLP is a well-known firm, and its office in Washington, DC handles civil and administrative litigation as it relates to federal law. Sidley Austin is a world class firm that seeks world class candidates for its openings.

Paralegal Schools and Programs in District of Columbia (Washington DC)

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

George Washington University (Washington, DC)
Graduate Certificate | Paralegal Studies
Graduate Certificate | Paralegal Studies (online program)
Masters Degree | Paralegal Studies
Masters Degree | Paralegal Studies (online program)

Georgetown University (Washington, DC)*
Master of Law | Individualized Studies
Master of Law | International Legal Studies
Master of Law | Global Health Law
Master of Law | Global Health Law and International Institutions
Master of Law | International Business and Economic Law
Master of Law | National Security Law
Master of Law | Securities and Financial Regulation
Master of Law | Taxation
Dual Master | International Affairs and Law
Certificate | Employee Benefits Law
Certificate | Paralegal Studies

*Approved by the American Bar Association (ABA)

Additional Resources

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