The Paralegal field is one of the fastest-growing career paths for young adults. Many law firms provide an enthusiastic environment for graduates of paralegal programs interested in the criminal justice or law enforcement line of work. State to state, paralegals are finding ways to get a job as a paralegal. In the Midwest, Colorado is one those states growing with opportunities for paralegals. Students are asking how to become a paralegal in Colorado?
Paralegals work alongside licensed attorneys and lawyers. Sometimes referred to legal assistants, the job description of a paralegal can be very demanding yet rewarding. Paralegals must have strong interpersonal skills and good customer service. Filing or preparing documents, conducting legal research on laws and regulations, and managing or organizing client cases are also certain tasks or duties of the paralegal. They may also have to acquire affidavits for attorneys or lawyers to be presented in court trials. Receiving an Associate degree in Paralegal Studies or a Paralegal Certificate is the first step toward becoming a Paralegal in Colorado.
Is a Paralegal Degree Necessary in Colorado?
Although is not always required, most law offices do recommend applicants to receive a Paralegal Certificate to work in the field. In the State of Colorado, there are no formal Colorado paralegal requirements and the state does not regulate any paralegal practices. Whilestate law sets no standards except that paralegals work under the direct supervision of a licensed attorney, like any other profession, earning a certification for Paralegal Studies will look good on a resume and provide the graduate more career opportunities or advancement.
Colorado does offer a voluntary Paralegal certificate. This type of certificate is based on education and experience and is a great option for student who are not quite done with college yet wants experience working in the field. Some program options for Colorado degree seekers is an online paralegal program. There are a few colleges that do offer this option within the state. Colorado Mountain College, Arapahoe Community College, and Everest College are just three schools that offer the online paralegal certificate. However, they may not be 100 percent online; some courses may need to be completed in a classroom setting.
What is the Job Outlook and Salary for Paralegal in Colorado?
The job growth of Colorado is slowly rising. In fact, most job positions are commonly found in the middle region of the state. The highest job opportunities are found in places such as Denver-Aurora, Colorado Springs, Boulder, and Fort Collins. Many corporate law offices, government agencies, and private firms are also expanding their job search for highly qualified individuals who want to know how to become a paralegal in Colorado. Checking out social websites such as indeed.com, glassdoor.com, and Linkedin.com are great sources for finding employment as a paralegal in the state of Colorado. Going to a paralegal association’s website may provide insight of top career options for paralegals in the area of interest. In the state of Colorado, two associations exist; Pikes Peak Paralegals and Rocky Mountain Paralegal Association.
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the national median pay in 2018 for paralegals is $50,940 annually. However, the Colorado annual pay wage for legal assistants is $58,350. The projected job growth is expected to increase to twelve percent from 2018 through 2028. Of course, the salary can be higher in large population areas, such as big cities or metroplex places. The number of paralegal jobs has also risen in cities across Colorado. According to the BLS reports, in 2018 there were 5,250 paralegals and legal assistants were employed in the state Colorado.