Learning how to become a Paralegal in Tennessee gives you options.
You can make a decent salary in this position, or you can continue on to become a lawyer with further training.
Article Table of Contents
- 1 Licensing Requirements to Become a Paralegal in Tennessee
- 2 5 Paralegal Schools in Tennessee
- 3 Salary
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions
Licensing Requirements to Become a Paralegal in Tennessee
No license is required by the state of Tennessee to become a Paralegal.
However, most employers prefer that you attend a training program approved by the American Bar Association.
You can also request more information from the Tennessee Bar Association (TBA) about approved educational options.
Students who want to become paralegals also usually take the National Paralegal and Legal Assistants Association (NALA) certificate exam.
When seeking schools to attend, you will want to find one that prepares you to earn the NALA Certified Paralegal or the Advanced Certified Paralegal (ACP) degree.
5 Paralegal Schools in Tennessee
1. University of Tennessee Knoxville (UTK)
UTK boasts the ability to complete their Paralegal Studies Program in as little as 14 weeks part-time.
It will teach you the legal terms, ethics, and interviewing skills you need to assist a lawyer.
In addition, it will develop your research and investigative abilities.
You will also have an edge in organizing case facts to prepare the attorney you assist for court.
Your time spent in this schooling also develops your communication skills.
You are going to need it when understanding the legal system as it pertains to a specific case and iterating that to your litigation team.
2. University of Memphis
The University of Memphis Legal Studies program teaches the legal background you need to succeed as a paralegal.
It also places you in hands-on learning environments that enhance your employment readiness.
Talk to an academic advisor about your career goals.
It is possible to get working before earning the bachelor’s degree you could work towards at this school.
However, Legal Studies provide you with the comprehensive learning most aspiring lawyers could achieve when preparing for a paralegal position.
3. The University of Tennessee Chattanooga (UTC)
UTC offers a variety of Paralegal certificate learning tracks for your professional development.
For instance, you could pursue Advanced Legal Research and Writing, Employment Law, or Personal Injury.
These and other certificate courses could enhance your current training or prepare you for a new career.
The coursework you receive at UTC could also prepare you for a CP or ACP career.
Study time ranges from several weeks to a couple of years.
4. Nashville State Community College (NSCC)
If you are a writer, you would like the certificate program, which trains you in legal research and writing.
It also introduces you to the word processing and investigation software you need to use as a paralegal.
You can deepen your learning experience, however, if you pursue the associate degree program.
It provides you with a more extensive range of facts and hands-on practice required for a successful law career.
5. Roane State Community College
Roane State assists you in developing your research and client interview skills.
You will also receive practice in drafting legal documents and will prepare for corporate, local, or government law careers.
This school strongly believes that if you participate in an internship before you graduate, it could lead to your first paying job.
Paralegal Schools in Tennessee – Summary Table
|University of Tennessee Knoxville||Knoxville, TN 37996|
|University of Memphis||3720 Alumni Ave, Memphis, TN 38152|
|The University of Tennessee Chattanooga||615 McCallie Ave, Chattanooga, TN 37403|
|Nashville State Community College||120 White Bridge Rd, Nashville, TN 37209|
|Roane State Community College||276 Patton Ln, Harriman, TN 37748|
An entry-level (Paralegal I) could earn an average yearly income of $54,644 in 2022.
Salaries usually range from about $48,326 to $61,698.
If you keep active in continuing education courses and acquire additional certifications, you could raise your annual earning potential to more than $68,121.
Look for jobs near you and also in Hendersonville, Chattanooga, Memphis, Nashville, or Hixson and Knoxville.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
Regional Salary in Tennessee
|Region||Employed||Avg. Annual Salary||Avg. Hourly Pay||Top 10% Annual Salary||Bottom 10% Annual Salary|
|Johnson City, TN||50||$47,510||$22.84||$68,620||$29,850|
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to become a Paralegal in Tennessee?
It usually takes about two years if you work towards an associate degree.
You can also start working sooner if you seek hands-on training as soon as possible and have taken a certificate course, which takes about a year to complete.
Do you have to pay for your certificate exam?
Yes, you do.
The NALA fee schedule is listed here.
If you decide to certify through another credentialing body, they may charge different amounts.
Check with the TBA if you are not sure which certificate you should pursue when first starting out as a paralegal.
Does paralegal training prepare you to become a lawyer?
Paralegal training prepares you for work in a legal environment, such as a law firm, government office, or corporate legal department.
This time spent in this role can indeed count toward your desire to go to law school and become a lawyer.
How much does it cost to become a Paralegal?
That depends on how fast you want to start working and how much you want to make per year.
You could, within a year, earn about $40,000 or more.
Some certificate programs might only cost you about $2,000, but others have a price of about $5,000-$20,000 per year.
How do I know if a Paralegal training program is right for me?
Check the college, workforce training center, or institution website.
Find out if it has any verifiable accreditations listed.
For instance, you will want to make sure the ABA and NALA recognize it.
That is the best way to know if the information taught will help you pass your national certification exams.