Become a Washington State Paralegal

Learn about Washington state paralegal jobs in Seattle and elsewhere, and start your program today.

Washington 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 Washington: Perkins Coie; Davis Wright Tremaine

Paralegal Degrees and Schools in Washington State

Although Washington state doesn’t have formal paralegal education requirements, many employers prefer—or even require—paralegals to have formal education. Paralegals often get the knowledge and skills they need by earning a paralegal certificate or degree.

Here are the most common education tracks for Washington state 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

Salary Info for Paralegals in Washington

Here is what you can expect to earn as a paralegal in various cities in Washington state:

City Median Annual Salary*
Seattle $60,437
Olympia $58,533
Bellingham $55,956
Spokane $55,956
Tacoma $59,205

Sources: January 2014; Washington 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

Currently, Washington 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 paralegal schools in Washington, professional organizations or through bar associations.

Washington Paralegal Resources

Among the career resources with job banks for Washington paralegals are the following organizations: