There is demand for paralegal services in real estate firms, NGOs, insurance companies, government agencies, and many other sectors.
The level of paralegal employment in Rhode Island alone is 1,100, with a location quotient of 1.06.
While no specific regulations highlight minimum requirements for becoming a paralegal in Rhode Island, enrolling in a paralegal program is highly recommended.
You can become a paralegal in Rhode Island through on-job training.
However, you should take several necessary steps to have a successful paralegal career and compete for higher salaries.
That is doing paralegal studies, getting certified, and gaining experience.
Article Table of Contents
- 1 Licensing Requirement to Become a Paralegal in Rhode Island
- 2 Top 5 Paralegal Schools in Rhode Island
- 3 Paralegal Salary in Rhode Island
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions
Licensing Requirement to Become a Paralegal in Rhode Island
Here are the basic requirements for becoming a paralegal in the state.
Paralegal certification is not a requirement in Rhode Island, but national certification can help you be more competitive.
The National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA), the National Association for Legal Professionals (NALS), and the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) offer national paralegal certificates.
The general requirements for the certification include completing a paralegal program recognized by the American Bar Association, an associate degree in paralegal studies, or a paralegal program with not less than 15 hours of legal courses.
If eligible, you can sit for a national certification exam from the three mentioned national paralegal professional organizations.
That is PACE, P.P., CLA/P, or PCCE.
The national associations provide the certification programs to ensure consistency in the profession.
The national exam requirements for the different associations vary, but employers favor all the certificates.
Degree in Paralegal Studies
Candidates with paralegal certification and education gain an edge even though licensing and certification are not mandatory.
Earning an associate’s degree, certificate, or bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies can help you build your skills, clear the path to get paralegal certification and increase your competitiveness in the job market.
Experience is a vital step in becoming a paralegal.
You can get experience through internships, on-the-job training, job shadowing, and volunteering.
You can also gain experience through volunteering.
Take advantage of experience opportunities to make you more competitive in the field.
Top 5 Paralegal Schools in Rhode Island
Here are five schools in Rhode Island that offer paralegal programs.
1. Roger Williams University
Roger Williams University offers three paralegal programs approved by the American Bar Association.
That is a Bachelor of Science, an Associate of Science, and a certificate in paralegal studies.
The Bachelor of Science paralegal program comprises 121 credit hours.
Students can choose between an in-person, hybrid, or online course format.
Three credits in an in-person course format cost $1,059, whereas an online 3-credit course costs $1,299.
To enroll in the program, provide transcripts from college and high school.
The Associate of Science program has 61 units and three-course formats; hybrid, online, and in-person.
The 3-credit online course format attracts $1,299, whereas in-person 3-credit classes cost $1,059.
The Associate degree takes about two years to complete, whereas a bachelor’s degree will take about four years.
2. Community College of Rhode Island
The college offers an Associate of Science Degree in Legal Studies degree for students looking to become paralegals.
The total credits for the program are 62, and it takes about two years to graduate from the program.
The estimated cost for the program is between $7,240 and $20,500.
It depends on whether you are a state resident or an out-of-state resident.
3. Post University
Post University offers a Certificate in Paralegal Studies, a program that gives you a comprehensive understanding of specialized areas of law, equipping you with skills to work with attorneys.
The program has 30 credit hours and takes one year to graduate.
It also has online and physical classes to give students flexibility.
The tuition cost per credit hour for the program is about $150.
4. Liberty University Online
If non-traditional classes are more convenient for you, Liberty University Online offers paralegal programs recognized by employers.
The university offers an Associate of Arts in Paralegal Studies program.
The course helps learners understand paralegals’ role and the law’s foundation and develop critical skills for the profession.
The program consists of 60 credit programs, with an overall estimated cost of $20,400 for the entire program.
The course takes about one to two years to complete, and the admission requirements are a high school diploma and a cumulative GPA of 2.0 for colleges attended.
5. Washington University, St. Louis
The university offers an online paralegal program, Master of Legal Studies (MLS), for professionals looking for legal training.
The course equips learners with an understanding of U.S law, related disciplines, and legal procedures in the U.S.
The program has 24 credits, which you can complete in a year.
Full-time students can complete the program in two semesters, and part-time students in eight.
The tuition cost for the program is about $64,000.
Paralegal Schools in Rhode Island – Summary Table
|Roger Williams University||1 Old Ferry Rd, Bristol, RI 02809|
|Community College of Rhode Island||1762 Louisquisset Pike; Lincoln, RI 02865|
|Post University||800 Country Club Rd, Waterbury, CT 06708|
|Liberty University Online||1971 University Blvd. Lynchburg, VA 24515|
|Washington University, St. Louis||1 Brookings Dr, St. Louis, MO 63130|
Paralegal Salary in Rhode Island
The median annual paralegal salary is an estimated $46,980.
The salary range varies across different industries and states.
The annual mean wage for paralegals in Rhode Island is $50,650.
Paralegals get bonuses based on the value, quality, and quantity of work done.
Some organizations also offer referral fees to paralegals that refer clients to their firms.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the role of a paralegal?
Paralegals prepare legal documents, conduct admin work, interview witnesses and clients, and research.
They also assist lawyers during trials in Rhode Island courts.
What is a paralegal apprenticeship?
Paralegal apprenticeships combine structured work-based learning and academic learning through undertaking paralegal tasks.
By undertaking a paralegal apprenticeship in Rhode Island, you learn the rudiments of providing paralegal services and an opportunity to advance your paralegal career.
What skills do you need as a paralegal?
To succeed in a paralegal career in Rhode Island, you need research, organization, and writing skills.
You should have strong attention to detail and the ability to multitask.
Are legal assistants and paralegals the same?
Legal assistants perform customer service and administrative tasks in law offices.
Paralegals are more hands-on and involved with legal technicalities.