Delaware can provide lucrative and fulfilling opportunities in the paralegal field for well-qualified professionals. It makes sense for a paralegal candidate in Delaware to consider entering a paralegal program in order to gain better traction in the job market. Delaware has a multitude of options for those considering a career as a paralegal, with programs offered online and through traditional college campus study. Many programs offer flexible scheduling options for those who are already in the workforce and looking to further their education. There are also certificate programs available for the student who has prior education or work experience.
How to Become a Paralegal in Delaware
While there is no specific training mandated by the state of Delaware in order to work as a paralegal, the Delaware Paralegal Association offers the voluntary Delaware Certified Paralegal (DCP) program, which can provide candidates with a competitive edge when entering the job market. This certificate requires a combination of education and experience. Typically, those who wish to become a paralegal in Delaware will complete a paralegal program at a college or university and complete further training once on the job. Having a degree or certificate can make a candidate more marketable when applying for jobs in Delaware’s competitive market. Internships completed through a paralegal program can also provide the student with real-world job experience and help with networking.
Delaware Paralegal Salary and Job Outlook
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates job growth for paralegals in Delaware at 13.7% through 2026.1 This is just below the predicted national jobs growth rate of 15% during the same time period.2 The average annual salary for paralegals in Delaware is $57,290, or $27.55 per hour.1 Highly qualified paralegals, especially those working in metropolitan areas like Wilmington where demand is high, have the potential to earn more than the average.
Profiles of Well-Known Schools in Delaware
Widener University: The Law Center at Widener University offers students the opportunity to complete a Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies or an Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies. All programs are American Bar Association approved. Students can select electives to focus on certain areas of law such as corporate law, criminal law, litigation, real estate law, and intellectual property. Students complete either an internship or practicum, providing them with real-world experience that can help in the employment search. Paralegal students may also enroll in the Law Center’s many online courses.
Wilmington University: The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Wilmington University has an American Bar Association-approved Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies as well as a Legal Studies certificate program. The BS is a traditional four-year degree, while the certificate program is designed for individuals who already possess an undergraduate degree or have considerable professional experience. Both academic sequences require the completion of core courses such as Introduction to Legal Studies and Legal Research, followed by specialized advanced electives. Academically talented students who wish to work with fellow Legal Studies majors and build professional networks can join the Lambda Epsilon Chi Legal Studies Honor Society.
Top Law Firms for Paralegal Graduates in Delaware
- Richards, Layton & Finger is not only the largest law firm headquartered in Delaware but also one of the oldest. Its convenient location between New York City and Washington, DC allows it to service clients across the region in its specialties of corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, and general and civil litigation. It seeks out the highest quality staff to join its team.
- Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP (MNAT) is a law firm based in Delaware with a national presence and bases its success on the commitment of its attorneys, paralegals, and other staff. MNAT looks for experienced, well-organized paralegal and support staff with strong interpersonal skills to support its client base.
- Duane Morris LLP is an internationally recognized consulting and legal firm that has an office in Wilmington. After over 100 years in business, Duane Morris needs top candidates with superior academic performance and integrity to join its staff.
Paralegal Schools and Programs in Delaware
An asterisk indicates that one or more of the school’s programs have been approved by the American Bar Association (ABA).
Delaware Technical and Community College (Georgetown; Dover)*
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal
Certificate | Paralegal
Wesley College (Dover)*
Bachelor of Science | Law and Justice Studies: Legal Studies
Certificate | Law and Justice Studies
Widener University (Wilmington)*
Associate of Science | Paralegal Studies
Bachelor of Science | Paralegal Studies
Certificate | Paralegal
Wilmington University (New Castle; Dover)*
Bachelor of Science | Legal Studies
Certificate | Legal Studies
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate | Legal Studies
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate | Legal Nurse Consultant
Post-Graduate Certificate | Legal Nurse Consultant
*Approved by the American Bar Association (ABA)
- Delaware Paralegal Association – Promotes high standards for paralegal, while providing a forum for discussion regarding the profession and working to enhance the role of the paralegal in society.
- Delaware Bar Association – Organizes and unites those who practice law in Delaware, and serves as their professional association.
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics May 2018 Occupational Employment and Wages, Paralegals and Legal Assistants: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes232011.htm
2. Projections Central Long Term Occupational Projections: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, Paralegals and Legal Assistants: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/legal/paralegals-and-legal-assistants.htm
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