Lawyers need assistance researching their cases and doing other critical work in their offices.
And that is where paralegals come in, as they are trained to do all they can to assist lawyers with their cases.
Many people who love law are pursuing a career as paralegals.
And the best part is, the experience you get working as a legal assistant will be gold once you decide to study and become a lawyer.
Article Table of Contents
- 1 Licensing Requirements to Become a Paralegal in North Dakota
- 2 5 Paralegal Schools in North Dakota
- 3 Salary
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions
Licensing Requirements to Become a Paralegal in North Dakota
When it comes to the licensing of paralegals in North Dakota, many confuse between certificate paralegals and certified paralegals, and the two are entirely different:
Certificated paralegals refer to students who have taken the certificate program and are given a certificate upon graduating.
The certificate programs are accessible to students without a bachelor’s degree, but according to North Dakota Rule 5.3, only those with Post-baccalaureate certificates are recognized.
This means that the student must meet a minimum of 60-course hours, inclusive of 18 hours of work hours as a paralegal.
To become a certified Paralegal, the paralegals must have educational and working experience or both and pass a national exam. They can choose from the four available national examinations:
- The PACE, which is offered by the NFPA (National Federation of Paralegal Association)
- The PCCE, which the NFPA offers
- The CLA/CP, which is provided by the NALA (National Association of Legal Assistants)
- The PP offered by the NALS (Association of Legal Professionals)
5 Paralegal Schools in North Dakota
Only two schools offer paralegal programs in North Dakota. So it would be wise to look into the neighboring state or take online classes from reputable schools.
1. University Of North Dakota
The University of North Dakota offers students a 6-month long paralegal certificate course.
The course takes place online and requires the student to clock 300 hours of course work.
To enroll, you must have prior knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite and a fast typing speed.
Their program teaches the students legal writing, litigation assistantship, tort law, consumer law and product liability, and research & interviewing.
The course does not offer any credit but ensures you learn the skills needed to work as a legal assistant.
The program costs $10,276 for North Dakota residents and $14,546 for non-residents.
2. Turtle Mountain Community College
This is a two-year-long paralegal program.
The course focuses on general education and is supplemented by federal Indian law and tribal governments.
You will also be trained in legal writing and research, tort law, constitutional law, and civil procedures.
To complete this program, you must complete a paralegal internship.
The paralegal program at Turtle Mountain college goes for $2,250 per year.
3. Bismarck State College
Bismark State College offers online and on-campus paralegal courses.
You must take the Associate in Applied Sciences In Administrative Assistant with a Legal major, which takes two years to complete.
This course is designed for students who want to work as legal assistants.
The course has 63 credits, and you must attain a minimum of 62 credits.
The course focuses on legal classes, such as Business Law, Criminal Law, and Introduction to Criminal Justice.
It also teaches students practical skills in business administration.
The students are also required to go for an internship to graduate.
To complete this course, you must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0.
- North Dakota residents pay $173.63 per credit
- US residents pay $260.45 per credit
- International pay $365.56 per credit
4. Rasmussen College
This is a private institution, and it offers a paralegal associate program in Applied Sciences.
The curriculum is based on the NALA recommendation, thus focusing on substantive and procedural law.
This course prepares the student to take the CLA OR CP national exam for paralegals, upon which they become certified paralegals.
The courses are held online.
The estimated cost of this program is $32,900.
5. Post University
This is among the first universities to offer online courses, and in 2013 it was mentioned as the best school offering an online bachelor’s program.
Post University offers an online bachelor of Science in Legal Studies with a major in substantive and procedural law.
This is a 6-week program and takes place 6 times a year.
To enroll, you must have a high school diploma or GED.
The estimated cost of the program is $66,000.
Paralegal Schools in North Dakota – Summary Table
|University Of North Dakota||Grand Forks, ND 58202|
|Turtle Mountain Community College||10145 BIA Rd 7, Belcourt, ND 58316|
|Bismarck State College||1500 Edwards Ave, Bismarck, ND 58506|
|Rasmussen College||4012 19th Ave S, Fargo, ND 58103|
|Post University||800 Country Club Rd, Waterbury, CT 06708|
Entry-level paralegals in North Dakota can make approximately $57,513 annually, and those with more experience and certifications are bound to earn more.
So do your research and bring your a-game during salary negotiations.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the paralegal associations in North Dakota?
- The Red River Valley Paralegal Association
- The Western Dakota Association of Legal Assistants
- State Bar Association of North Dakota
What does Rule 5.3 stipulate for paralegals in North Dakota?
The paralegals must complete a bachelor’s or associate degree or a post-baccalaureate program in paralegal courses in a school that is approved by the ABA (American Bar Association).
They must complete a bachelor’s degree in any field and have not less than one year working as a paralegal in a lawyer’s office.
Or complete 18 hours of substantive legal coursework.
They must take any one of the national exams to become certified paralegals.
Seven years of experience working as a lawyer’s legal assistant.
Where can paralegals in North Dakota find employment?
The following law firms provide employment opportunities for graduate paralegals:
- Vogel Law Firm
- Nilles Law Firm
- Ebeltoft Sickler
- Crowley Fleck PLLP