Aspiring paralegals in Louisiana can find numerous opportunities to enter a career that is fulfilling and well-paying. About 4,550 paralegals are employed in the state, and the profession is expected to grow in the coming years.1 It makes sense for an aspiring paralegal to seek out an education program that will provide the necessary skills and qualifications to be competitive upon entering the job market. There are a variety of paralegal degree options in Louisiana, ranging from two-year and four-year degrees to certificates for those who already have education or work experience. There are also online options for an aspiring paralegal in this state.
How to Become a Paralegal in Louisiana
Louisiana, like most states, does not require set education or experience to become a paralegal. However, the Louisiana State Paralegal Association offers the Louisiana Certified Paralegal (LCP) program, which is based on the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) credentialing process. The LCP certificate requires a college degree or other formal training and shows employers that a candidate possesses career-ready skills and experience. LCP certification can set paralegals apart from other paraprofessionals.
Louisiana Paralegal Salary and Job Outlook
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that jobs growth for Louisiana paralegals will reach 18% through 2026, which is a little higher than the US average of 15% paralegal jobs growth projected through 2026.2,3 The average annual salary for paralegals in Louisiana was $50,540 as of May 2018, indicating that a well-qualified paralegal can find suitable employment in Louisiana.1 About 510 average annual openings, including replacements, are projected for the state each year through 2026.2
Profiles of Well-Known Schools in Louisiana
Tulane University: Three American Bar Association-approved General Legal Studies programs are offered by Tulane University’s School of Professional Advancement: the Bachelor of Arts, the Associate of Arts, and the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate. This program is the oldest ABA-approved paralegal course of study in the Gulf Coast region, having obtained that status in 1981. The School of Professional Advancement also offers a General Legal Studies minor, which supplements an existing major in a related subject but does not meet ABA standards. Over two dozen faculty, many of whom are practicing attorneys, teach General Legal Studies courses. All students, regardless of degree structure, must complete Introduction to Paralegal Studies, Legal Research, Legal Writing, and Litigation I.
Nunez Community College – Chalmette: Nunez Community College offers two paralegal programs, the Associate of Arts (AA) in Paralegal Studies and the Certificate of Technical Studies in Paralegal Studies. The associate’s degree program in paralegal studies requires 60 credit hours to complete and includes a hands-on practicum. The paralegal studies certificate requires 30 credit hours to complete and includes four core paralegal courses focusing on litigation, legal research, and case analysis. The courses in the certificate program may later be applied towards earning the AA in Paralegal Studies. The Nunez Community College Library has an extensive law library that houses extensive archives relating to St. Bernard Parish. The library is also a selective depository for state documents.
Top Law Firms for Paralegal Graduates in Louisiana
- McGlinchey Stafford PLLC represents national and regional clients in commercial and business matters and has been named one of the Top 5 Law Firms in corporate representation in New Orleans by Corporate Board Member Magazine. McGlinchey Stafford develops its professional staff through training, mentoring, and its unique Learning Center to expand skills and knowledge. McGlinchey Stafford looks to put “the best people in the right jobs,” including paralegal staff.
- Jones Walker is a growing law firm with offices across the US, including in Louisiana. The firm has been recognized by US News, Best’s, American Lawyer Media, and others as one of the top law firms in the country. Jones Walker regularly hires paralegals to grow with its practice.
- Morris Bart LLC is a personal injury firm, supported by over 100 non-attorney law professionals. Morris Bart welcomes resumes from qualified paralegal candidates at any time.
Not-for-Profit Paralegal Schools and Programs in Louisiana
An asterisk indicates that one or more of the school’s programs have been approved by the American Bar Association (ABA).
Baton Rouge Community College (Baton Rouge)*
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies
Bossier Parish Community College (Bossier City)
Certificate of Technical Studies | Legal Assistant
Delgado Community College (New Orleans)
Certificate | Legal Secretary
Grambling State University (Grambling)
Bachelor of Science | Criminal Justice: Paralegal
Loyola University New Orleans (New Orleans)
Minor | Legal Studies
Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge)*
Non-credit Certificate | Paralegal Studies
McNeese State University (Lake Charles)
Associate of Arts Degree | General Studies: Paralegal Studies
Bachelor of Arts | General Studies: Paralegal Studies
Nunez Community College (Chalmette)
Associate of Arts | Paralegal Studies
Certificate of Technical Studies | Paralegal Studies
Tulane University (New Orleans)*
Associate of Arts | Paralegal Studies
Bachelor of Science | Management- Legal Studies in Business
Master of Laws
Master of Laws | Admiralty
Master of Laws | Energy & Environmental Law
Master of Laws | International & Comparative Law
Minor | Paralegal Studies
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate | Paralegal Studies
*Approved by the American Bar Association (ABA)
- Louisiana State Paralegal Association – Dedicated to the advancement aof the paralegal profession in Louisiana and in general, and the administrator of the Louisiana Paralegal Certificate credential.
- Louisiana State Bar Association – Promotes collaboration at the local, state, and national levels, hosting events and providing networking opportunities for attorneys and paralegals in the state of Louisiana.
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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