With one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation at 2.8% as of March 2019 and about 1,740 paralegals employed throughout the state, Nebraska can be a good place to enter the legal profession.1,2 Nebraska paralegal schools offer skills and training through various paralegal degree programs. Completing such a program prepares candidates to enter a legal profession where job prospects are good and advancement is possible. A paralegal in Nebraska can’t practice law but does have a broad scope of work assisting attorneys with legal research and writing, witness interviews, and other related tasks at law firms, businesses, and government agencies.
How to Become a Paralegal in Nebraska
Nebraska paralegals aren’t required by law to have specialized schooling, but a degree or certificate program offers focused training in legal concepts and procedures. Though it is possible to be hired by a law firm that will provide on-the-job training, a growing number of employers are showing a preference towards candidates who do have formal paralegal skills training. As a result, applicants with a paralegal degree will have an edge over the competition for available positions.
Paralegal Quote: “The best career advice I could give is to go the extra mile when it comes to your education. Obtain a certification, earn a diploma or degree. There are so many options now and convenient ways to do it. Your education will benefit you throughout your career.”Nikki L. Campos, Treasurer of the Central Nebraska Legal Professionals
Nebraska Paralegal Salary and Job Outlook
Paralegals in Nebraska earned an average annual salary of $49,250 as of May 2018.2 Most paralegals in the state work in the Lincoln and Omaha metropolitan areas.2 Considering the fact that Nebraska has a lower cost of living than the US average, these salaries can be considered competitive for the local market. The outlook for Nebraska paralegals is positive; through 2026, estimates place paralegal jobs growth in the state at 20.8%, much faster than the national average.3,4
Profiles of Well-Known Schools in Nebraska
College of Saint Mary, Omaha: Students can choose from three different paralegal studies degree options at the College of Saint Mary, Omaha: an Associate of Arts, a Bachelor of Arts, and a post-baccalaureate certificate. The Bachelor of Arts in Paralegal Studies is a 128-credit hour program with 44 hours reserved for major courses, while the Associate of Arts can be completed in as few as three semesters. Each student must complete either a legal seminar or a paralegal internship. All three paralegal programs at the College of Saint Mary, Omaha are approved by the American Bar Association. The BA is the only four-year paralegal degree program in Nebraska to have earned this approval.
Metropolitan Community College: The Business Department at Metropolitan Community College offers an American Bar Association-approved legal studies Associate in Applied Studies with a paralegal option. This is a 102-credit hour program taught at the South Omaha campus. 30 credit hours are dedicated to major courses, including two semesters of internship work within a law office. Students must work 40 hours for each credit hour earned. Individuals who have already earned a four-year degree in another subject can pursue an accelerated paralegal certificate, which requires 62 credit hours to complete.
Top Law Firms for Paralegal Graduates in Nebraska
- Baird Holm LLP has over 130 years of experience representing businesses, institutions, government entities, and individuals in legal matters as diverse as Banking and Finance and Technology and Intellectual Property. The firm uses the most up-to-date computerized legal research systems and document support programs as well as state-of-the-art communications applications to support its clients and staff. Baird Holm consistently recruits for paralegals.
- Baylor Evnen is one of the largest law firms in Nebraska and stands on its reputation for excellence in service to its clients. The firm has grown from an insurance defense specialist to a broad-based litigation and business practice and has a long history of upholding diversity in its hiring practices.
- Scudder Law Firm PC services clients of all sizes from startups to multi-billion dollar corporations in virtually all areas of practice, and is a nationally recognized leader in the transportation industry in particular. Scudder Law Firm supports its staff by encouraging career development and providing competitive compensation to retain the best possible personnel and is always accepting resumes.
Criminal Justice Schools in Nebraska
An asterisk indicates that one or more of the school’s programs have been approved by the American Bar Association (ABA).
Bellevue University (Bellevue)
Bachelor of Science | Legal Studies
College of Saint Mary (Omaha)*
Associate of Arts | Paralegal Studies
Bachelor of Arts | Paralegal Studies
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate | Paralegal Studies
Minor | Paralegal Studies (Nursing majors only)
Program | Pre-Law
Metropolitan Community College (Omaha)*
Associate of Applied Science | Legal Studies: Legal Administrative Assistant
Associate of Applied Science | Legal Studies: Paralegal
Associate of Applied Science | Legal Studies: Pre-Law
Accelerated Certificate | Legal Studies: Paralegal
University of Nebraska Omaha (Omaha)
Concentration | Legal Studies
University of Nebraska Lincoln (Lincoln)
Master of Legal Studies
*Approved by the American Bar Association (ABA)
- Nebraska Paralegal Association (NePA) – Supports Nebraska paralegals through hosting social and networking events, offering scholarships and learning opportunities for its members.
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics Local Area Unemployment Statistics, Unemployment Rates for States: https://www.bls.gov/web/laus/laumstrk.htm
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics May 2018 Occupational Employment and Wages, Paralegals and Legal Assistants: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes232011.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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