Paralegals in Idaho work in law firms and have the ability to do many of the same tasks that people normally associate with an attorney. Although Idaho does not regulate the paralegal profession, there are still some important steps you should take when considering becoming a paralegal. The right education and national certification will make it easier for you to find employment at an Idaho law firm.
How to Become a Paralegal in Idaho
- Certification: Paralegals in Idaho are not required to earn certification before beginning work.
- Age: Idaho paralegals should be over the age of 18.
- Licensure: Idaho does not issue licenses for those in the paralegal profession.
- Degree: Though not required, pursuing a degree in paralegal studies is a good idea for anyone in idea seeking employment as a paralegal. Some people in roll in certificate programs, while others pursue an associate’s or bachelor’s degree from an approved program designated by the American Bar Association (ABA).
- Experience: Many degree programs feature an internship component where you can achieve real-world paralegal experience. It is also possible to volunteer at a law firm to gain work experience.
- Citizenship: US citizens and legal aliens can apply for paralegal positions in Idaho.
- Background: Most law firms that employ paralegals will require proof that you have no criminal convictions.
- Ethics: If you belong to a paralegal association, you will be required to abide by a code of professional ethics to maintain membership.
Certification Process in Idaho
Because Idaho does not require or provide certification for paralegals, many people in this profession choose to become certified with a national paralegal organization. For example, you can become certified with the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) through either an exam or curriculum.
Passing the NALA exam earns you the designation of a Certified Paralegal (CP). When you successfully fulfill the NALA requirements, you will earn the Advanced Paralegal Certification (APC). Achieving certification can be a great way to advance your career and will make you more attractive to Idaho law firms.
Degrees Related to Paralegals
If you want to become a paralegal in Idaho, you will need education about the profession, usually in the form of a paralegal studies program. These programs will cover multiple areas of the law, as well as information useful to paralegals like legal writing and legal research.
Major Cities in Idaho
- Boise is the most populous city in Idaho with 214,237 residents.
- 86,518 people live in Nampa, making it Idaho’s second largest city.
- Meridian has 83,596 residents and is the third largest city in this state.
What Does a Paralegal Do in Idaho?
Paralegals are responsible for many legal tasks. For example, a paralegal can assist an attorney during a trial, can file documents with the court, can write those same documents and can even gather information and evidence for attorney review. While paralegals are not allowed to give legal advice, they can contact clients with important information.
There are many legal careers that are related to paralegals. Legal assistants, for instance, do almost the exact same work as paralegals. A legal secretary may perform some paralegal duties, although they will be more records focused. Finally, claims adjusters do some of the same tasks as paralegals, particularly when it comes to writing legal documents.
Employment Numbers in Idaho
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there were 900 paralegals/legal assistants employed in Idaho in 2015.
Bureau of Labor Statistics Salary Ranges in Idaho
If you work as a paralegal in Idaho, you can expect an average annual salary of $41,840.