Become a Virginia Paralegal
Learn about being a paralegal in Virginia, from Virginia Beach to Norfolk.
Virginia Paralegal Facts and Figures
- Length of Paralegal Study: 1 to 4 years
- Almost 75 percent of paralegals work for law firms
- Largest Law Firms in Virginia: McGuireWoods; Hunton and Williams
Paralegal Schools in Virginia
Although Virginia doesn’t have formal paralegal education requirements, many paralegals still get the knowledge and skills they need by earning a paralegal certificate or degree. Employers often perfer to hire people with paralegal degrees.
Here are the most common degree and certificates for Virginia paralegals:
- 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 degree or higher in another subject, and on-the-job training as a paralegal or legal assistant
Below are paralegal salaries for some of the largest cities in Virginia:
|City||Median Annual Salary*|
Sources: Salary.com January 2014; Virginia 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.
Virginia 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. A paralegal degree or certificate will show prospective employers that you have the skills and legal knowledge to excel in their law firms or companies.
Virginia Paralegal Resources
- Virginia Alliance of Paralegal Associations
- Paralegal Association of Northern Virginia
- Virginia Peninsula Paralegal Association
- Richmond Paralegal Association
- Virginia State Bar
Sources: Internet Legal Research Group (2011); www.vaparalegalalliance.org; www.richmondparalegals.org.