About 1,170 paralegals are employed in Idaho, with the majority of paralegals residing and working in the Nampa-Boise area.1 While this number is not very large, Idaho has a lower-than-average unemployment rate, at 3.7%.2 Due to these prospects, an aspiring paralegal may want to consider attending an Idaho paralegal school. A structured paralegal program provides students with the necessary skills to perform the job of a paralegal and builds a platform for networking; success in a paralegal degree or certificate program can open doors to future employment prospects. Idaho has numerous schools offering paralegal programs, and there are several schools that provide online programs suitable for becoming a paralegal in Idaho.
Several programs in Idaho are American Association for Paralegal Education (AAfPE)-member schools, including Eastern Idaho Technical College, Idaho State University, and North Idaho College, all of which offer an associate degree in paralegal studies. Lewis-Clark State College, also an AAfPE member school, offers a certificate, an associate’s degree, and a bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies.
How to Become a Paralegal in Idaho
Like most states, Idaho does not require licensing or certification for paralegals. However, the Idaho Paralegal Association emphasizes that many employers prefer to hire a paralegal who has completed an American Bar-approved or structured program, or at least a college degree. A paralegal in Idaho must work under the supervision of a licensed attorney.
Idaho Paralegal Salary and Job Outlook
The paralegal profession as a whole is growing, and the Idaho job market is no exception. Predictions call for a 13.3% growth rate for paralegals in the state through 2026.3 Nationally, the paralegal profession is expected to grow 15% over the same period of time, which is faster than the average for most other occupations.4 The average annual salary for paralegals in Idaho was $46,510 as of May 2018.1 This average can vary depending on educational qualifications and the industry in which a paralegal chooses to work. For example, working for a large firm will likely yield a higher salary than working for a non-profit organization.
Profiles of Well-Known Schools in Idaho
Idaho State University: The College of Technology at Idaho State University has an Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies program that is four semesters long. Only 12 students are admitted to the program every August. The 63-credit hour degree plan involves introductory paralegal courses during the first semester such as Introduction to Paralegal Studies and Legal Ethics & Professionalism, while the last two semesters are set aside for advanced courses and electives. All students must complete a legal internship during their final semester.
North Idaho College: North Idaho College has a long list of Professional-Technical Programs, one of which is the paralegal Associate of Applied Science degree. Students typically take two years to complete 67 to 68 credit hours, with 29 credit hours dedicated to paralegal courses. All majors are required to take on an in-office internship during their last semester and must commit to a minimum of 150 on-site work hours. The degree plan also involves significant office skills coursework such as Keyboarding I, Outlook, and Database/Access I.
Top Law Firms for Paralegal Graduates in Idaho
- Hawley Troxell Ennis & Hawley LLP Attorneys and Counselors specialize in business law, serving local, national, and international clients, and is a member of Lex Mundi. Hawley Troxell prides itself on its low turnover rate, as well as its commitment to providing firm-based training while supporting outside educational opportunities for its staff.
- Perkins Coie is an internationally-known firm offering services in all aspects of law to clients that include globally recognized names and private individuals. Its office in Boise offers many of the same opportunities to paralegal staff as its offices elsewhere, including a dynamic workplace, training and mentorship programs, and professional development.
- Stoel Rives LLP provides transactional and litigation services to clients in many industries from its offices across the US, including an office in Boise. Stoel Rives knows that its paralegal and administrative staff is integral to its success and works to provide nationally competitive benefits packages to qualified paralegal graduates.
Paralegal Schools and Programs in Idaho
An asterisk indicates that one or more of the school’s programs have been approved by the American Bar Association (ABA).
College of Eastern Idaho (Idaho Falls)
Associate of Applied Science | Legal
Intermediate Technical Certificate | Legal
Idaho State University (Pocatello)
Bachelor of Applied Technology | Paralegal Studies
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies
Lewis-Clark State College (Lewiston)
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal
Associate of Applied Science | Legal Administrative Assistant
Bachelor of Applied Science | Paralegal
Bachelor of Applied Science | Legal Administrative Assistant
Intermediate Technical Certificate | Paralegal
Intermediate Technical Certificate | Legal Assistant
Technical Certificate | Legal Office Technology
North Idaho College (Coeur d’Alene)
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal
- Idaho Association of Paralegals – Encourages a high standard for paralegals, facilitates networking and continuing education among its members, and works with local and national associations to address issues in the industry.
- Idaho State Bar – Promotes a high standard of professional conduct and aids in the advancement of the administration of justice.
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics May 2018 Occupational Employment and Wages, Paralegals and Legal Assistants: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes232011.htm
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics Local Area Unemployment Statistics, Unemployment Rates for States: https://www.bls.gov/web/laus/laumstrk.htm
3. Projections Central Long Term Occupational Projections: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
4. 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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