How to Become a Paralegal in Virginia

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How to Become a Paralegal in Virginia

Representing the law is serious business.

That is why lawyers have to attend college for six to eight years to become licensed legal professionals.

You also need to hold your own when becoming a paralegal.

However, you can start working after about one to two years while in training instead of waiting to become a lawyer.

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Licensing Requirements to Become a Paralegal in Virginia

The State of Virginia has not established the need for a license to serve as a Paralegal.

However, the Virginia State Bar and the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) have set a standard.

You also would answer to the American Bar Association (ABA) concerning the Code of Conduct that Paralegals must abide by.

If you want to become certified, it will increase the number of career opportunities for you.

Popular certificates students usually earn are the Certified Paralegal and the Advanced Certified Paralegal credential.

NALA hosts the exams for these, and you should try to find a school that offers preparation for your certification tests.

5 Paralegal Schools in Virginia

1. University of Richmond

The University of Richmond has a School of Professional and Continuing Studies that accommodates aspiring Paralegals.

Check out their certificate and associate degree Paralegal Studies programs to see which one suits you the most.

Ideally, you’d want to take some certificate classes.

Then, start your on-the-job training as soon as possible.

By the time you finish your coursework, you could end up working full time.

You also would be one step closer toward an associate degree and eventually a law degree.

You will learn how to hold your lawyer in high esteem as you prepare to assist a legal team.

The Paralegal Studies undergraduate programs also prepare you for law school if you want to be a lawyer.

Learn the ethics of working at a law firm, whether it be for a public or private company or government agency.

One option is to take classes toward a bachelor’s degree.

During this time, you will also want to seek placement where you will work full time while learning how to become a Paralegal in Virginia.

2. Laurel Ridge Community College

Laurel Ridge Community College Logo

Laurel Ridge offers a two-year Paralegal Studies associate program.

This training is appropriate for both people who are and are not working toward becoming a lawyer.

You learn how to conduct yourself around clients and develop the skills required to provide attorney support.

Your training will also provide the practice required to become proficient in writing and research.

In addition, you will experience what it is really like to work in a legal department or law firm with lawyers.

3. Virginia Peninsula Community College

Virginia Peninsula Community College Logo

Also known as Thomas Nelson Community College, this school offers a Paralegal Studies Associate Degree program.

This training prepares you to provide the utmost support you can to a lawyer or legal team.

Upon coursework completion, you will find jobs in corporate and government legal departments.

Your training also could lead you to work at a private practice with one or more lawyers.

Other job titles this coursework could prepare you for include: Legal Secretary, Judicial Law Clerk, or Title and Abstract Examiner.

4. Hampton University

Hampton University Logo

Hampton allows you to start out in a Paralegal Studies Certificate program.

Then, if you earn a “C” average or higher, you can transfer to the Bachelor of Arts in Paralegal Studies program.

The certificate sources take about one year if you register for two eight-week classes at a time until finished.

You will take core courses, such as Law in Society, Legal Research, and Legal Writing.

In addition, you will receive an introduction to criminal, personal injury, domestic violence, or other types of law.

You can pick the ones that most interest you according to your career goals.

5. Marymount University

Marymount University Logo

Marymount offers both an undergraduate and graduate Paralegals Studies program.

This program, which is approved by the ABA, includes the following courses: Accounting, Business Law, Civil Litigation, and Legal Research and Writing.

This bachelor’s degree program prepares you for both becoming a paralegal and a graduate law degree.

You will have plenty of chances to gain real-world experience and find employment.

Paralegal Schools in Virginia – Summary Table

School Name Address
University of Richmond 410 Westhampton Way, Richmond, VA 23173
Laurel Ridge Community College 6480 College St, Warrenton, VA 20187
Virginia Peninsula Community College 99 Thomas Nelson Dr, Hampton, VA 23666
Hampton University 100 E Queen St, Hampton, VA 23669
Marymount University 2807 N Glebe Rd, Arlington, VA 22207
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A Paralegal in Virginia can make an average yearly income of $59,787.

Your earnings might range from $52,874-$67,505.

If you continue your education and keep earning certificates, you could raise your annual salary to more than $74,531.

Try searching for opportunities in Alexandra, Arlington, Charlottesville, Richmond, or Virginia Beach if you do not find any openings near you.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Virginia Beach $57,662
Norfolk $56,794
Chesapeake $56,721
Richmond $60,183
Newport News $56,504
Hampton $56,504
Alexandria $67,144
Portsmouth $56,794
Roanoke $55,763
Lynchburg $55,556

Regional Salary in Virginia

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA80$46,420$22.32$59,490$31,280
Charlottesville, VA240$56,460$27.14$72,240$36,760
Harrisonburg, VA100$49,660$23.88$65,150$31,890
Lynchburg, VA180$46,650$22.43$62,870$30,570
Richmond, VA2,300$56,680$27.25$78,720$36,610
Roanoke, VA440$50,480$24.27$64,210$30,810
Staunton-Waynesboro, VA50$53,880$25.9$63,920$31,200
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC1,880$51,370$24.7$66,590$33,150
Winchester, VA-WV120$51,440$24.73$65,080$31,290
* 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 a typical path of someone becoming a VA Paralegal?

They usually attend a training program approved by the ABA.

Along with that, students will prepare to take the CP or ACP certification exams.

This process usually takes about two years.

However, you can start performing some duties during training and receive a salary.

What is the most challenging aspect of being a Paralegal in VA?

Probably the most challenging aspect of being a Paralegal is that you have to know and understand the law without being a lawyer.

However, that is why you would not give legal advice, but you do have to be on top of your game at all times.

Is it hard to become a paralegal?

If you love writing and research, you most likely would love working as a Paralegal.

It will come naturally to you as well if you love getting to the truth of an investigation, kind of like a journalist.

However, your work is usually done in private.

USA Paralegal Schools by State

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