Alabama Paralegal Schools

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If you are interested in becoming a paralegal and live in the state of Alabama, there are many reputable Alabama paralegal schools to choose from. The number of paralegal jobs available is increasing across several legal disciplines in both civil and criminal practice, so it can make career sense to become a paralegal. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that as of May 2018, there were about 3,000 paralegals and legal assistants working in Alabama, at an average annual salary of $45,530.1 With these statistics in mind, earning a paralegal degree in an Alabama school can be a good choice.

How to Become a Paralegal in Alabama

Paralegals are not required to be certified in any way to perform duties as a paralegal in Alabama, but most attorneys and law firms prefer paralegals who have earned a formal education.

Alabama has several different legal markets. Location and demand drive the typical education requirements of prospective employers. Many successful Alabama paralegals will have completed either a two-year or four-year paralegal degree in an on-campus or online program. Students of paralegal programs will learn how to research facts, interview witnesses, and write legal documents. They will also study the differences between types of law, including civil and business law, personal injury, and criminal law. Once hired as an Alabama paralegal, you will typically receive additional on-the-job training, working under the supervision of licensed attorneys and gaining knowledge as you go along.

Alabama Paralegal Salary and Job Outlook

The average salary for an Alabama paralegal was $45,530 per year as of May 2018.1 Paralegal salaries can vary based on the location of the work and the level of experience attained. Paralegals in Birmingham, for example, earn a higher average salary than the statewide median, at $48,100.1 Paralegal jobs are growing due to more firms moving to save money by relying on the work of paralegals over that of attorneys. Tied to this, the outlook for paralegals in Alabama is good, with a projected increase of 13.7% in jobs through 2026.2 On-campus and online paralegal class offerings will help prospective paralegals prepare to take advantage of these opportunities.

Profiles of Well-Known Schools in Alabama

Auburn University – Montgomery: The Department of Justice and Public Safety at Auburn University at Montgomery has a paralegal certificate program that has been approved by the American Bar Association. This 60-hour course of study requires students to complete 41 hours of core liberal arts courses, with the remainder of coursework dedicated to legal specialty courses such as Civil Litigation, Legal Research, and Computer Applications in Law. The campus Paralegal Student Association, Lambda Epsilon Chi, is sponsored by the American Association for Paralegal Education and provides students with extensive professional networks. The Department of Justice and Public Safety is also effective at matching paralegal students with valuable internships within local law firms.

University of South Alabama: The University of South Alabama offers a competitive certificate program in paralegal studies that can be completed on campus or online. The certificate program comprises nine core courses and seven electives. The program is ideal for working professionals, with classes meeting just one night per week. The program’s small class sizes encourage collaboration with fellow students and professors. Courses such as Legal Research & Writing and Paralegal Discovery & Analysis are part of the program’s core and electives include Law of Real Property, Environmental Law, and Contract Law.

Top Law Firms for Paralegal Graduates in Alabama

  • Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, a rapidly growing firm, has been named the top law firm in Alabama for public finance by Thomson Reuters. With this growth comes the need for support staff, including paralegal graduates, for its offices. Bradley Arant Boult Cummings looks for individuals from diverse backgrounds and offers its employees the benefit of its commitment to a work-life balance.
  • Maynard, Cooper & Gale, PC is one of the largest law firms in Alabama with offices in Birmingham, Huntsville, Mobile, and Montgomery. Maynard Cooper is regularly recognized by the Birmingham Business Journal as one of the Best Places to Work and offers its support staff many of the same benefits as its attorneys in a competitive recruitment package.
  • Burr & Forman LLP is a large firm with a long history, having served clients for over 100 years. It offers its paralegal and litigation support staff tuition reimbursement and training opportunities, among other benefits.

Paralegal Schools and Programs in Alabama

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

Auburn University at Montgomery (Montgomery)*
Bachelor of Science | Justice and Public Safety – Legal Studies Track
Master of Science | Justice and Public Safety – Legal Studies Track
Certificate | Paralegal

Coastal Alabama Community College (Bay Minette)
Associate in Applied Science | Paralegal

Enterprise State Community College (Enterprise)
Associate in Applied Science | Paralegal
Short-term Certificate | Legal Assistant/Paralegal

Faulkner University (Montgomery)*
Associate of Science | Legal Studies
Bachelor of Science | Legal Studies

Gadsden State Community College (Gadsden)*
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal
Short-term Certificate | Legal Transcriptionist
Short-term Certificate | Realtime Reporting: Litigation Assistant

Shelton State Community College (Tuscaloosa)
Associate in Applied Science | Management and Supervision: Paralegal
Certificate | Office Administration: Paralegal
Certificate | Office Administration: Legal Secretary

Wallace State Community College
Associate in Applied Science | Paralegal

*Approved by the American Bar Association (ABA)

Additional Resources

1. Bureau of Labor Statistics May 2018 Occupational Employment and Wages, Paralegals and Legal Assistants:
2. Projections Central Long Term Occupational Projections:

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