How to Become a Paralegal in Pennsylvania

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How to Become a Paralegal in Pennsylvania

Paralegals in the state of Pennsylvania are required to work under a licensed attorney.

These professionals perform a wide range of legal tasks including conducting legal research, writing legal documents, drawing up legal contracts, collecting and reviewing evidence, as well as submitting briefs and legal evidence to the courts.

Within this field, there are a number of jobs that paralegals are able to occupy, including that of a legal secretary, a claims adjuster, a title examiner, or a legal assistant.

There are several different pathways that candidates may follow in order to get a job and break into the industry.

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Licensing Requirements to Become a Paralegal in the State of Pennsylvania

Currently, the state of Pennsylvania does not have any formal education or training requirements in order to work as a paralegal.

In addition, candidates are not required to be licensed in order to work as paralegals in Pennsylvania.

Though obtaining a formal education in the field prior to seeking employment may greatly enhance a candidate’s ability to secure a job in this field.

While it is not required, candidates should opt to attend an accredited program, that is ABA-approved.

Programs in the state of Pennsylvania range from certificate programs that run over a couple of weeks up to several months, to an associate of applied science degree in paralegal studies, a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science paralegal studies, as well as a master’s degree in paralegal studies.

The first step to graduating as a paralegal in the state of Pennsylvania is to attend an ABA-approved program.

5 Paralegal Schools in Pennsylvania

1. Delaware County Community College

Delaware County Community College Logo

The college offers a certificate in paralegal studies.

The program is ABA-approved and the classes are offered on-campus and in-person.

Candidates who wish to attend this program will need to complete an Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal studies before attending these classes.

The program is offered at this two-year institution on day and evening class schedules.

Furthermore, the program may be completed within a year.

Students may attend the program at the Marple campus in Media, Pennsylvania.

The estimated cost of the program is $3,150 for in-district students, $6,300 for in-state students, and $9,450 for out-of-state students.

Some of the classes that students may expect to attend in this course include contract law, civil litigation, and tort principles, introduction to paralegal, as well as real estate law.

2. Clarion University of Pennsylvania

Clarion University of Pennsylvania Logo

The Clarion University of Pennsylvania offers students three paralegal programs:

  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration — Paralegal Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration — Paralegal Studies
  • Advanced Paralegal Certificate

These programs prepare students for entry-level positions as paralegals in a wide variety of settings.

All programs are offered on-campus, and face-to-face and all programs are ABA-approved.

The estimated cost for these programs is $13,244 for in-state students and $19,868 for out-of-state students.

Upon completion of these courses, students should be able to conduct legal research, draw up legal documents, understand the ethical requirements of the job, and become effective and contributing members of the legal team.

3. Duquesne University

Duquesne University Logo

This school is located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and is a private four-year institution.

The school offers a post-baccalaureate certificate in paralegal studies with ten courses in paralegal studies.

Faculty have extended experience in the field and offer online lessons in both synchronous and asynchronous formats.

The program is offered full-time during the summer (11 weeks) and part-time during the fall, winter, and spring (18 months).

Part-time classes are offered in the evening and full-time classes are offered Monday through Friday during the day.

Tuition for the summer program is $9,430.

4. Community College of Philadelphia

Community College of Philadelphia Logo

This college offers an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) in paralegal studies.

The program is 60 credit hours.

The program is ABA-approved and more than half of the program is offered completely online.

Philadelphia residents will pay $9,180 while in-state students pay $18,360, and out-of-state students pay $27,540.

Students learn how to conduct legal research, draft legal documents, and analyze legal problems, while also providing effective services to clients.

Students are mentored by seniors in the field and given career advice and guidance.

The school also offers an accelerated course which may be completed in as little as eight months.

5. Gannon University

Gannon University Logo

The school offers a bachelor’s of arts in legal studies that is ABA-approved.

Students learn how to draft legal documents, conduct legal research, and become contributing members of the legal team.

The program is offered on-campus and in-person.

The estimated cost of this program is approximately $108,000.

Students will cover a range of legal topics, including computers in law, contract law, trial preparation, and procedure, as well as bankruptcy.

Furthermore, the program prepares students to pursue an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree program.

The program includes a mandatory internship to help students gain knowledge and skills from the working world.

Paralegal Schools in Pennsylvania – Summary Table

School Name Address
Delaware County Community College 901 Media Line Rd, Media, PA 19063
Clarion University of Pennsylvania 840 Wood St, Clarion, PA 16214
Duquesne University 600 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15282
Community College of Philadelphia 1700 Spring Garden St, Philadelphia, PA 1913
Gannon University 109 University Square, Erie, PA 16541
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There are three salary ranges as candidates progress in this industry and in this field, with varying levels of experience:

  • Entry level – $46,768
  • Mid-career – $60,028
  • Experienced – $74,831
Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Philadelphia $64,610
Pittsburgh $59,411
Allentown $60,786
Erie $55,714
Upper Darby $64,610
Reading $60,001
Scranton $55,672
Bethlehem $60,786
Lower Merion $64,610
Bensalem $65,144

Regional Salary in Pennsylvania

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ340$57,020$27.41$76,960$38,590
Altoona, PA40$49,610$23.85$65,490$35,620
Bloomsburg-Berwick, PA40$58,290$28.03$81,040$35,610
Chambersburg-Waynesboro, PA60$49,040$23.58$71,800$29,620
East Stroudsburg, PA50$49,130$23.62$70,450$36,280
Erie, PA120$52,440$25.21$69,540$34,910
Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA850$58,920$28.33$76,810$43,820
Johnstown, PA40$48,570$23.35$83,240$32,250
Lancaster, PA260$55,690$26.77$75,920$37,090
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD8,830$69,350$33.34$97,280$45,380
Pittsburgh, PA2,390$62,590$30.09$84,610$37,500
Reading, PA170$57,990$27.88$79,040$37,690
Scranton--Wilkes-Barre--Hazleton, PA240$56,440$27.14$81,540$27,860
State College, PA60$47,850$23$68,900$20,730
Williamsport, PA80$51,240$24.64$73,250$36,100
York-Hanover, PA220$51,510$24.77$75,930$29,500
* 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

What is the minimum age to become a paralegal in Pennsylvania?

Candidates must be, at least, 18 years of age in order to pursue a career in the legal field as a paralegal in the state of Pennsylvania.

Are paralegals in demand in Pennsylvania?

Yes, paralegals are in demand and the demand seems to be growing year on year.

Do you need to provide a background check in order to obtain work as a paralegal in Pennsylvania?

Most firms in this state may require that candidates produce a clear background check.

USA Paralegal Schools by State

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