How to Become a Tennessee Paralegal

Learn about being a paralegal in Tennessee, from Memphis to Knoxville.

Tennessee Paralegals Facts and Figures

  • Length of Paralegal Study: 1 to 4 years
  • Almost 75 percent of paralegals work for law firms
  • Largest Law Firms in Tennessee: Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell and Berkowitz; Bass, Berry and Sims

Paralegal Schools in Tennessee

Although Tennessee doesn’t have formal paralegal education requirements, many employers prefer to hire people with a paralegal certificate or degree.

The most common education tracks for Tennessee paralegals are:

  • A paralegal certificate from an ABA-approved paralegal school (online paralegal degrees are another option)
  • An associate of arts in paralegal studies
  • A bachelor's or higher in another subject, and on-the-job training as a paralegal or legal assistant

Salary Information

Below are paralegal salaries for some of the largest cities in Tennessee:

City Median Annual Salary*
Chattanooga $49,963
Clarksville $49,907
Memphis $53,211
Nashville $52,987

Sources: January 2014; Tennessee 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

Tennessee does not have formal paralegal certification requirements, but many lawyers prefer to hire certified paralegals or graduates of paralegal certificate programs. You can also increase your salary by earning paralegal certification through one of the following organizations:

  • National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA)
  • National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA)
  • American Alliance of Paralegals, Inc. (AAPI)

To find an entry-level job, you should first complete your paralegal training. This will show prospective employers that you have the skills and legal knowledge to excel in their law firms.

Tennessee Paralegal Resources

Among the career resources and job banks for Tennessee paralegals are the following organizations:

Sources: Internet Legal Research Group (2011);