How to Become a Paralegal in Texas

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How to Become a Paralegal in Texas

The legal profession is a rewarding profession that offers a challenging career for those candidates who wish to pursue a career in this field.

More specifically, working as a paralegal may present a high degree of job satisfaction, as candidates are required to perform intricate, complex, and often very demanding tasks that require a degree of conscientiousness.

There are several paralegal programs available in the state of Delaware, from a certificate program to a master’s degree program.

The first step is to attend a school with an ABA-approved course that will help set candidates on the right path with the right education.

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Licensing Requirements to Become a Paralegal in the State of Texas

Paralegals are included in the State Bar of Texas membership and have developed standards for paralegals to enter the industry.

According to these standards, attorneys are requested to employ paralegals with one or a combination of the following entry-level qualifications:

  • Four years of legal work done under a licensed attorney
  • TBLS specialty certification
  • A BSC or BA in any subject, 12 months of legal work performed under a licensed attorney, and 15 hours completed yearly of continued legal education
  • Paralegal program from an accredited school
  • Obtain national certification through the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA) or the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA)
  • Successful completion of an ABA-approved program

It is not mandatory that paralegals obtain certification in Texas.

However, there are voluntary certification options available through the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

Furthermore, it is important to note that the state of Texas does not require the licensure of paralegals in order to practice in the field.

5 Paralegal Schools in Texas

1. Amarillo College

Amarillo College Logo

Amarillo College is a two-year public institution and the school offers an Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal studies.

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

The program can be completed over four semesters and comprises a total of 71-72 credit hours.

The curriculum is made up of both general courses and paralegal courses.

Classes are mostly offered in the evenings and over weekends.

However, general education classes are offered in both the daytime and the evening.

Classes start in the fall, spring, and summer.

Classes are taught by an experienced faculty and the school places emphasis on small class sizes to ensure better instruction and greater learning opportunities.

The average tuition at this institution starts at $2,100 per year for in-state students.

2. Kaplan College

Kaplan College Logo

Kaplan College is situated in Dallas, Texas, and offers a General Practice Paralegal Certificate.

The program is offered over 28 weeks and consists of 44.5 credit hours and a total of 600 contact hours that are offered on-campus and in-person.

The program is ABA-approved and classes are offered during the evening to accommodate students who work full-time.

In addition, students are required to complete an externship of 130 hours in order to graduate from the program.

The program prepares students for an entry-level position as a paralegal in the legal field in Texas.

Candidates learn a wide variety of skills that will prepare them for the working world.

Tuition per year is approximately $15,000.

3. Lone Star College

Lone Star College Logo

The school offers an advanced technical certificate in paralegal studies.

The course is offered at the North Harris campus, Houston, and is nine months long.

The program is ABA-approved and candidates should complete the 35-36 credits in order to graduate.

The pre-requisite to apply for this course is a complete bachelors or associate degree.

The course is offered on-campus and in person.

Students will need to complete a variety of paralegal courses in preparation for the working environment.

These courses may include civil litigation, legal research, rules of civil procedure, and advanced legal research and writing. In addition, the program includes a capstone.

Tuition for this program is $96 per credit for in-district, $214 per credit for out-of-district, and $269 per credit for out-of-state students.

The school also offers an Applied Associate Degree in Paralegal studies which may be completed over 4 semesters.

4. Lamar State College

Lamar State College Logo

This school offers an Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal studies which may be completed over four semesters.

The program consists of 66 credit hours and has a mandatory internship which students will need to complete in order to graduate.

The program is ABA-approved and is available in two formats: on-campus and hybrid.

The program includes a variety of courses, such as criminal law, family law, civil litigation, legal document preparation, injury law, etc.

Tuition and fees for 15 credit hours are approximately $2035.00.

5. Texas A and M University

Texas A and M University Logo

The school offers a bachelor’s of art and a bachelor of science degree in paralegal studies.

The program is ABA-approved and is predominantly offered online.

Candidates are required to complete the 120 credit hours in order to successfully complete the course.

Students are also required to complete 12 credit hours of foreign studies.

The course highlights paralegal fundamentals and prepares students for the working world through a range of general courses, paralegal courses, and specialized courses.

Tuition and fees for the program are calculated at $26,334.

Paralegal Schools in Texas – Summary Table

School Name Address
Amarillo College 2201 S Washington St #2411, Amarillo, TX 79109
Kaplan College 12005 Ford Road, Suite 100. City. Dallas, TX 75234
Lone Star College 4141 Victory Dr, Houston, TX 77088
Lamar State College 1500 Procter St, Port Arthur, TX 77640
Texas A and M University Administration Building, 400 Bizzell St, College Station, TX 77843
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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 – $46,017
  • Mid-career – $59,063
  • Experienced – $73,629
Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Houston $61,824
Dallas $59,924
San Antonio $58,651
Austin $59,321
El Paso $52,757
Fort Worth $58,772
Arlington $58,676
Corpus Christi $56,613
Plano $59,667
Garland $59,795

Regional Salary in Texas

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Abilene, TX80$46,330$22.27$64,250$21,350
Amarillo, TX210$48,570$23.35$70,300$27,610
Austin-Round Rock, TX3,220$59,220$28.47$87,980$39,190
Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX280$48,700$23.41$72,590$22,170
Brownsville-Harlingen, TX280$50,080$24.08$80,670$24,920
College Station-Bryan, TX180$49,510$23.8$79,560$26,790
Corpus Christi, TX420$55,070$26.47$81,460$38,020
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX6,610$66,330$31.89$96,610$45,290
El Paso, TX820$45,790$22.02$60,560$31,530
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX6,160$65,880$31.67$97,380$37,660
Killeen-Temple, TX190$52,210$25.1$75,850$34,890
Laredo, TX160$47,920$23.04$84,570$20,470
Longview, TX190$54,280$26.1$90,150$21,010
Lubbock, TX300$47,770$22.97$72,260$31,360
McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX720$35,840$17.23$58,090$20,020
Midland, TX110$56,670$27.24$95,740$28,050
Odessa, TX110$54,810$26.35$74,910$37,080
San Angelo, TX90$50,830$24.44$77,690$21,100
San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX1,960$52,530$25.26$80,270$22,650
Sherman-Denison, TX80$46,140$22.18$63,080$26,950
Texarkana, TX-AR60$46,470$22.34$63,740$18,380
Tyler, TX160$52,360$25.17$73,910$36,240
Victoria, TX70$51,780$24.89$79,920$21,540
Waco, TX190$50,330$24.2$74,710$26,370
Wichita Falls, TX60$43,370$20.85$60,890$21,010
* 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

How many schools offer an ABA-approved paralegal program in Texas?

There are 38 schools that offer this program in Texas but only one program is ABA-approved.

Can paralegals appear in court?

Paralegals may appear in court on behalf of an attorney and may also conduct research for an attorney.

Can paralegals give legal advice in Texas?

No, paralegals, much like notaries and legal assistants, are not licensed lawyers and may not give legal advice.

USA Paralegal Schools by State

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