How to Become a Paralegal in Kentucky

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How to Become a Paralegal in Kentucky

Interested in a career in law but not in becoming a lawyer?

Becoming a paralegal might be the best option for you.

As with any new career, the first and most important step is to become informed and prepared.

This guide provides basic information and a list of five top paralegal programs you can take advantage of in Kentucky.

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Licensing Requirements to Become a Paralegal in Kentucky

Kentucky does not require any certification, degree, or licensing to become a paralegal in the state.

However, anyone hoping to obtain a good job in the field is encouraged to become a Certified Kentucky Paralegal or CKP.

5 Paralegal Schools in Kentucky

Below are five of the top paralegal programs available in the state.

1. Eastern Kentucky University

Eastern Kentucky University Logo

Eastern Kentucky University offers a completely online Applied Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies.

It requires 64 credit hours to complete – 49 of which can be transferred from relevant courses in other degree programs.

This program is designed to be completed in two years or less – depending on whether you transfer credits.

Tuition is $421 per credit hour, making the total tuition $26,944.

To assist with costs, they offer a free textbook program for undergraduate students and offer reduced tuition for active military and their families.

2. Madisonville Community College

Madisonville Community College Logo

Madisonville Community College has Paralegal Technology as an Associate’s Degree or a certificate program.

The certificate requires 30 credit hours to complete, and the Associate’s Degree requires up to 67 credit hours to complete.

Depending on the program you choose, you can finish in as little as a year but up to two years.

The tuition can seem a bit confusing. In-state students and online-only students pay $182 per credit hour.

Students who do not live in Kentucky but live in counties bordering the state pay $364 per credit hour for in-person classes.

Out-of-state students who do not live in bordering counties pay $637 per credit hour.

These amounts bring the total tuition cost to range between $5,460 and $19,110 for the certificate program.

The cost of the Associate’s Degree ranges between $12,194 and $42,679.

These costs do not include books, fees, and other expenses.

3. Western Kentucky University

Western Kentucky University Logo

Western Kentucky University or WKU offers a variety of ways to complete paralegal studies.

You can choose between an Associate’s Degree program that requires 60 credit hours and about two years to complete.

Or you can choose a Bachelor’s Degree option that requires 120 credit hours and approximately four years to complete.

These programs get you a minimum of 150 hours of experience, which gives students more opportunities when applying for work.

WKU offers these programs online and in a hybrid format, with the in-person classes taking place at three separate campuses for your convenience.

Tuition is $11,112 for in-state students each year, totaling approximately $22,224 for the Associate’s Degree and $44,448 for the Bachelor’s Program.

Tuition for out-of-state students is $27,072 per year, making the Associate’s Degree approximately $54,144 and the Bachelor’s Degree approximately $108,288.

These costs do not include books, fees, and additional expenses.

4. Morehead State University

Morehead State University Logo

Morehead State University provides a Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies that includes 120 credit hours.

It touches on various areas of the legal field, which gives students the knowledge they need to succeed as paralegals.

The program typically takes four years to complete, unless you already have transferable general education credits.

Students who reside in Kentucky or specific Ohio counties pay $4,620 per semester or approximately $36,960 for total tuition.

Out-of-state residents that do not reside in those specific Ohio counties pay $6,983 per semester or approximately $55,864.

While it can vary, the estimated cost of books is $500 per semester.

5. Murray State University College of Legal Studies

Murray State University College of Legal Studies Logo

If you want a program you can complete more quickly – and with the greatest flexibility – Murray State University offers a paralegal certificate through the College of Legal Studies.

You have two options: the online format and the online flex format.

The online format includes two seven-week sessions that include instructors and interaction with other students.

The online flex format is completely self-directed.

Students have six months to complete it but can dive in and push themselves to finish even faster than with the online format.

The base tuition for either is $1,895 for the program.

Books, fees, and other expenses aren’t included in that price, but you can typically expect to spend an additional $500.

Paralegal Schools in Kentucky – Summary Table

School Name Address
Eastern Kentucky University 521 Lancaster Ave, Richmond, KY 40475
Madisonville Community College 2000 College Dr, Madisonville, KY 42431
Western Kentucky University estern Kentucky University, 1906 College Heights Blvd, Bowling Green, KY 42101
Morehead State University 150 University Blvd, Morehead, KY 40351
Murray State University College of Legal Studies 1375 Chestnut St, Murray, KY 42071
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Paralegals in Kentucky typically make anywhere from $50,055 to $63,905.

The average annual salary is about $56,599.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Lexington-Fayette $56,800
Louisville $56,878
Owensboro $56,647
Bowling Green $54,599
Covington $58,983
Hopkinsville $54,284
Frankfort $55,141
Henderson $57,009
Richmond $56,229
Jeffersontown $56,317

Regional Salary in Kentucky

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Bowling Green, KY150$48,100$23.13$61,840$35,030
Elizabethtown-Fort Knox, KY90$49,520$23.81$73,870$31,460
Lexington-Fayette, KY520$53,570$25.75$75,660$37,450
Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN1,090$54,520$26.21$76,780$36,620
Owensboro, KY50$47,190$22.69$60,590$21,840
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Paralegals and Legal Assistants, OCC Code 23-2011, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I gain experience if I can’t get hired anywhere?

It is a common source of confusion: you can’t get a job without experience but you can’t get experience without a job.

While not everywhere will require experience as a paralegal, many law firms and organizations do.

Fortunately, you can get that experience through an education program.

There are also volunteer organizations like the Legal Aid Society in Kentucky that will help you get experience.

Is it really worth it to attend a program if I do not have to?

The answer really depends on your goals.

If you want to work for a big law firm or government organization, going through an education program gives you a better chance.

If, however, you want to work part-time as a freelancer or you are just looking for a way to break into the field, a program may not be necessary.

How do I become a CKP?

If you want to become a Certified Kentucky Paralegal, you will need to start by passing the CKP exam and becoming a member of the Kentucky Paralegal Association.

Additionally, you will either need five years of work experience, a Bachelor’s degree of any type along with one year of experience as a paralegal or complete an ABA-approved paralegal program.

USA Paralegal Schools by State

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