How to Become a Paralegal in Montana

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How to Become a Paralegal in Montana

While getting into the legal industry requires plenty of training, becoming a paralegal may be a shorter route.

However, even though this may be a shortcut, you still need time and hard work to excel in your career.

Regardless of the law field, you would like to venture into, to work as a paralegal in Montana, you must have the proper training and credentials to distinguish yourself from other applicants.

License Requirements

Although the Montana legislature has proposed mandating licenses for paralegals, as of 2022, a paralegal does not require a license.

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All that is required is a bachelor’s or associate degree in paralegal learning.

5 Paralegal Schools in Montana

1. University of Montana – Missoula

University of Montana – Missoula Logo

The University of Montana paralegal curriculum, approved by the American Bar Association, trains students for various difficult positions in all areas needing legal counsel.

Through theoretical and practical legal education, the paralegal studies program aims to: enhance students’ understanding of the function of law, train them to provide legal services efficiently as paralegals and promote the legal profession.

The program spans two years or four semesters and consists of 65 credits.

Additional semesters are required to graduate if courses are completed outside of the schedule.

The average cost of the program is $6,831 for in-state students and $22,203 for out-of-state students.

2. University of Providence – Great Falls

niversity of Providence - Great Falls Logo

Providence University offers a paralegal program approved by the American Bar Association.

The establishment offers two programs: A two-year, 28-credit Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies and an online Bachelor of Science in Paralegal and Legal Studies.

The college also provides courses for aspiring paralegals interested in working for the military.

It has agreements with the Army and Air Force allowing military members to enroll and attend classes while meeting their enlistment requirements.

The average full-time student will cough up $12,484 every semester, while part-time students pay $814 per credit hour.

Full-time students may enroll up to 18 credits, while part-time students may enroll up to 11 credits.

Online students will pay the same fee as part-time students, regardless of the number of classes they take.

Those who must take prerequisite courses pay only $275 per credit hour.

Thanks to a discount, military students who wish to enroll in the paralegal studies program pay only $250 per credit hour.

3. Fort Peck Community College

Fort Peck Community College Logo

FPCC is among the institutions that provide an exceptional education in Paralegal Studies.

The curriculum ensures students have no trouble adjusting to their work upon completion.

The one-year Paralegal CAS program at Fort Peck Community College is designed to equip students to start and excel in their careers as paralegals.

However, certificate holders are prohibited from representing clients in state or federal courts.

The program’s 31 credits comprised 24 law and criminal justice credits and 7 general education credits.

The tuition is $2250 per year.

4. Montana State University

Montana State University Logo

Students who enroll in certificate programs for paralegals at MSU acquire the skills essential for practicing as paralegals.

In addition, students learn how to prepare trial notes and interview witnesses and clients.

Classes are conducted on weekends only for six weeks to accommodate working individuals.

Alternatively, this program can be taken online through two successive seven-week sessions or independently for up to a year.

The tuition can range from $275 to $1,189.

5. Helena College University of Montana

Helena College University of Montana Logo

Students who successfully finish the paralegal program at Helen University can evaluate legal issues, create legal documents, conduct legal research, and prepare for court cases.

Students use contemporary technologies by conducting internet research and employing business and legal applications to sharpen their skills further.

In preparation for a job as a paralegal, you will receive training in soft skills to enhance your professional effectiveness.

The 6-week paralegal program covers the curriculum in-depth and ensures each student is ready to face the job market.

There are no prerequisites for this course, which may be taken on a PC, Mac, or Chromebook.

Before the class begins, students must ensure that the school’s recommended software is installed and ready to use.

Paralegal Schools in Montana – Summary Table

School Name Address
University of Montana – Missoula 32 Campus Dr, Missoula, MT 59812
University of Providence - Great Falls 1301 20th St S, Great Falls, MT 59405
Fort Peck Community College 605 Indian Ave, Poplar, MT 59255
Montana State University Culbertson Hall, 100, Bozeman, MT 59717
Helena College University of Montana 1115 N Roberts St #117, Helena, MT 59601
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The average annual salary for paralegals in Montana is $47,600, or $22.88 per hour, although this figure is subject to change.

Paralegals with more education, specific expertise, and experience can earn upwards of $62,770, placing them in the top 10% of their profession.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Billings $57,602
Missoula $49,712
Great Falls $52,148
Butte-Silver Bow $49,712
Bozeman $49,712
Helena $50,614
Kalispell $52,820
Havre $51,246
Anaconda-Deer Lodge County $49,712
Miles City $56,700

Regional Salary in Montana

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Billings, MT250$58,170$27.97$80,980$48,290
Great Falls, MT90$55,360$26.61$75,490$38,720
Missoula, MT260$57,730$27.75$78,590$43,210
* 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

Are background checks required for Montana paralegals?

In Montana, background checks are not required for paralegals, but the law firm that employs you may require one.

How many paralegals are there in Montana?

There are approximately 950 paralegals and legal assistants employed in Montana.

As the number of legal administration jobs in Montana increases, the demand for paralegal training in the state increases.

How does Montana law define paralegals differently from other states?

In contrast to the laws of many other states, Montana law defines paralegals as people who are qualified to perform substantive legal activities because of their education, training, or experience and who must be supervised by a Montana-licensed attorney.

Is it feasible to practice law in Montana with only a high school diploma?

Suppose you want to work as a paralegal with a high school diploma.

In that case, you need 4,800 hours of legal internships under an attorney’s supervision and 5 hours of continuing legal education in legal ethics.

USA Paralegal Schools by State

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