Become a Virginia Paralegal

Learn about being a paralegal in Virginia, from Virginia Beach to Norfolk.

Virginia Paralegal Facts and Figures

  • Number of Virginia Paralegals: 8,070
  • 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

Salary Information

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

City Median Annual Salary*
Chesapeake $52,315
Richmond $55,956
Roanoke $52,091
Virginia Beach $51,979

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.

Certification Requirements

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

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

Sources: Internet Legal Research Group (2011); www.vaparalegalalliance.org; www.richmondparalegals.org.

Paralegal USA

Learn about being a paralegal across the U.S., from New York to California, and Minnesota to Florida.

Related Reading

Since you're interested in paralegal degrees and careers you may also be interested in these legal careers: