Facts and Figures for Illinois Paralegals
- Length of Paralegal Study: 1 to 4 years
- Almost 75 percent of paralegals work for law firms
- Largest Law Firms in Illinois: Mayer Brown; Baker & McKenzie
Illinois Paralegal Schools
Although Illinois doesn’t have formal paralegal education requirements, many employers prefer to hire people with a paralegal certificate or degree.
Here are the most common education tracks for Illinois paralegals:
- A paralegal certificate from an ABA-approved paralegal school
- An associate of arts in paralegal studies
- A bachelor's or advanced degree in another subject, and on-the-job experience working in a law firm
Here is what you can expect to earn as a paralegal in various cities in Illinois:
|City||Median Annual Salary*|
Sources: Salary.com January 2014; Illinois Paralegal II.
*The salary information listed is based on a national average, unless noted. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors. National long-term projections of employment growth may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.
Certification Requirements for Paralegals in Illinois
Currently, Illinois does not have certification requirements for its paralegals; however, many employers prefer—or even require—certification. You can get national paralegal certification through the following organizations:
- National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA)
- National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA)
- American Alliance of Paralegals, Inc. (AAPI)
To maintain national certification, you must complete a certain number of hours of continuing legal education within a specified number of years. Continuing education can include training taken at a paralegal school in Illinois, professional organizations or through bar associations.