Opportunities in the paralegal field are increasing across the US, and Alaska paralegal schools are ready to meet demand. Nationwide, the need for legal professionals is growing. Earning a degree or certificate in paralegal studies in Alaska can also lead to an above-average salary. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, paralegals in Alaska earned an average annual salary of $59,140 as of 2018.1 For this reason, pursuing a paralegal degree in Alaska might be worth your while.
How to Become a Paralegal in Alaska
There are many training opportunities available in Alaska for those interested in the paralegal field. The state’s unique location and demographics result in paralegal needs that are different from those in the lower United States. Paralegals in Alaska must be supervised and instructed by certified attorneys. As in other states, they cannot provide legal advice or other legal services to the general public on their own, and the supervising lawyer(s) are legally responsible for the work of their paralegals.
Obtaining a paralegal degree is typically a requirement to become a successful paralegal. There are a range of online and on-campus paralegal programs available in Alaska, all of which will provide a prospective paralegal with the education needed to advance in the state’s legal market.
Alaska Paralegal Salary and Job Outlook
Alaska has one of the highest average salaries for those who seek a career in the paralegal profession, at around $59,140 per year.1 Entry-level salaries are generally lower, but demand for qualified paralegals in the state keeps the average stable and attainable for those with the right training and experience. Whether prospective paralegals choose to pursue a degree on-campus or online, the expanding legal market in Alaska should ensure opportunities for career-minded graduates.
Profiles of Well-Known Schools in Alaska
University of Alaska, Anchorage: The Justice Center at the University of Alaska, Anchorage offers an American Bar Association-approved paralegal studies certificate, which can also be credited towards the completion of the school’sAssociate of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies or Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies. Students are required to complete an internship within an agency or law firm that has a relationship with the UAA Justice Center. Foundation courses for paralegal students include Introduction to Law and Paralegal Studies, while upper-level courses cover legal writing, litigation, and legal research.
University of Alaska, Fairbanks: University of Alaska, Fairbanks: An American Bar Association-approved Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal Studies degree is offered by the University of Alaska, Fairbanks for students who wish to pursue a career as a paralegal or legal assistant. The AAS is a 61-credit hour degree that requires students to complete three credit hours through an internship with a law firm or legal office. Introductory courses include Introduction to Law and Introduction to Paralegal Skills, while advanced courses include Paralegal Ethics, Advanced Legal Writing, and Criminal Law for Paralegals. The paralegal studies program is part of UAF’s Community and Technical College, where students can pursue a variety of professional development degrees and certificates. A minor in paralegal studies is also available.
Top Law Firms for Paralegal Graduates in Alaska
- Jermain Dunnagan & Owens, PC, based in Anchorage, is one of the most well-known law firms in Alaska thanks to its success in headline cases in multiple practice areas. Jermain Dunnagan is active in the community and represents local clients as well as multinational companies. The firm routinely seeks to add paralegals and other support staff to its legal team.
- Perkins Coie is regularly recognized by Chambers & Partners as a national leader in law, with a presence in 10 markets including Alaska. Its Anchorage office serves clients in practice areas including energy, environmental and natural resources, labor and employment, and many others. Its focus on maintaining a diverse and equitable workplace offering opportunities to staff has led to it being named among the 100 Best Companies to Work For by Fortune magazine, making it an excellent firm for recent paralegal graduates to start a career.
- Squire Patton Boggs is also highly ranked by Chambers & Partners. Its Anchorage practice specializes in complex litigation of all types, and the firm is consistently hiring for committed paralegals looking to work in a team environment.
Paralegal Schools and Programs in Alaska
An asterisk indicates that one or more of the school’s programs have been approved by the American Bar Association (ABA).
University of Alaska-Anchorage (Anchorage)*
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies
Bachelor of Arts | Legal Studies
Minor | Legal Studies
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate | Paralegal Studies
Certificate | Legal Nurse Consultant Paralegal
University of Alaska-Fairbanks (Fairbanks)*
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies
Minor | Law and Society
Minor | Paralegal Studies
*Approved by the American Bar Association (ABA)
- Alaska Association of Paralegals (AAP) – A non-profit organization representing the needs of paralegals in the state of Alaska.
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics May 2018 Occupational Employment and Wages, Paralegals and Legal Assistants: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes232011.htm
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