How to Become a Paralegal in Wisconsin

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How to Become a Paralegal in Wisconsin

Paralegals work under lawyers’ supervision, unlike other law practitioners who are required to represent clients in courts of law.

These paralegals play a vital role in the legal field by performing tasks outside the law practice scope.

To become a certified paralegal in Wisconsin, you must obtain an associate degree or certificate from an ABA-approved paralegal school.

This way, you’re eligible for the best job placement in government agencies, law firms, and other law corporations.

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Licensing Requirements to Become a Paralegal in Wisconsin

Although there are no regulations governing the training of paralegals, you must have a solid foundation for this career.

Paralegals do not require certification to work in Wisconsin.

You only need to pass the examination and meet the state’s educational criteria.

Wisconsin is known to be home to many paralegals.

It is a highly competitive field with no rules and regulations, and neither does it require licensure.

Although paralegals in Wisconsin do not require licensure to work, the State Bar of Wisconsin requires you to meet the following basic paralegal certification requirements.


To become a paralegal in Wisconsin, you have to fulfill the education requirements and have the required work experience.

Alternatively, a voluntary certification with a national organization can help you secure a job.

However much this state is not strict with certification, all paralegal candidates have many advantages if they further their careers.


Most law firms require you to have an associate’s degree, a bachelor’s degree, or a certificate in paralegal studies to work with them.

All these certificates should be from an institution approved by the American Bar Association.


Paralegals should acquire professional experience through internships and pro bono legal work.

These programs equip candidates with skills that they require throughout their careers.


Wisconsin paralegals should be either US citizens or legal aliens.

Although the state does not require paralegal candidates to submit background checks, most employers need them before hiring paralegals.

4 Paralegal Schools in Wisconsin

Wisconsin offers two types of paralegal programs.

One is approved by the American Bar Association (ABA), while the other is not. The most common program for paralegals is paralegal studies, which is ABA-approved.

It is done at bachelor’s and associate’s levels and takes 2-3 years of coursework.

The other paralegal program is the certificate which features legal research, legal writing, and any additional knowledge you require for the job.

A solid educational foundation is necessary for any candidate to become a paralegal in Wisconsin.

Below are five schools that offer ABA-approved paralegal programs in Wisconsin:

1. Madison Area Technical College

Madison Area Technical College Logo

Madison Area Technical School features a paralegal post-baccalaureate certificate program for candidates who have a bachelor’s degree and want to expand their knowledge.

This program runs for two semesters.

The post-baccalaureate certificate estimated tuition fees are $3,700 for Wisconsin residents and $5,500 for non-residents.

Examples of the required courses for this program are:

  • Family law
  • Administrative law
  • Legal research
  • Legal computer applications.
  • Civil litigation 1 and 2
  • Career building techniques

2. Chippewa Valley Technical College

Chippewa Valley Technical College Logo

The on-campus paralegal associate’s degree that a faculty of experienced law practitioners teach at Chippewa Valley Technical College features.

Rather than essential learning, this program gives the candidates an emphasis on reasoning and understanding.

The program costs approximately $8,100 for Minnesota and Wisconsin residents; and $12,100 for out-of-state candidates.

This program requires a GED, high school diploma, or completing a home school program like COMPAS.

Chippewa’s college paralegal program covers numerous aspects of law, including liberal arts.

3. Northeast Wisconsin Technical College

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College Logo

Serving approximately 42,000 students every year, Northeast Technical College offers a paralegal post-baccalaureate certificate program.

The on-campus program runs for two semesters, and it equips learners with oral and writing legal skills.

The estimated cost of this program is $2,841 and $4,124 for residents and non-residents, respectively.

The sample required courses for this program are:

  • Indian law
  • Legal research
  • Legal aspects
  • Civil litigation 1 and 2

5. Lakeshore Technical College

Lakeshore Technical College Logo

This college offers an on-campus Paralegal Associate of Applied Science that takes 2-3 years, depending on the study hours.

Students learn to draft legal documents, behave ethically, conduct research, and analyze legal procedural issues.

The estimated cost for this program is $8,712 for state residents and $13,068 for non-residents.

The sample required courses for this program are:

  • Personal branding – paralegal
  • Legal aspects of business organizations
  • Business law
  • Civil Litigation 1 and 2.

Paralegal Schools in Wisconsin – Summary Table

School Name Address
Madison Area Technical College 1701 Wright St, Madison, WI 53704
Chippewa Valley Technical College 2320 Alpine Rd, Eau Claire, WI 54703
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College 2740 W Mason St, Green Bay, WI 54307
Lakeshore Technical College 1290 North Ave, Cleveland, WI 53015
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Paralegals’ Salaries in Wisconsin

As a paralegal in Wisconsin, you must possess the required skills to ease your job.

Additionally, focusing on an area of law you’re passionate about is necessary for your career’s success.

Paralegals with vital education and on-hand experience are on the practical side of earning a good salary.

Paralegals in Wisconsin earn an average base salary of $42,056 as of June 21, 2022.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Milwaukee $59,528
Madison $58,935
Green Bay $57,700
Kenosha $59,089
Racine $59,089
Appleton $57,712
Waukesha $59,303
Oshkosh $57,339
Eau Claire $56,079
La Crosse $54,927

Regional Salary in Wisconsin

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Appleton, WI190$51,280$24.66$70,270$36,630
Eau Claire, WI70$51,680$24.85$64,950$40,240
Fond du Lac, WI50$47,880$23.02$58,240$36,270
Green Bay, WI230$51,790$24.9$68,690$36,470
Janesville-Beloit, WI80$49,540$23.82$65,760$35,810
La Crosse-Onalaska, WI-MN100$50,700$24.37$60,310$36,630
Madison, WI830$56,470$27.15$81,320$35,640
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI2,090$58,300$28.03$83,000$39,320
Oshkosh-Neenah, WI100$51,690$24.85$72,230$36,150
Racine, WI120$50,430$24.25$62,050$36,100
Sheboygan, WI60$51,850$24.93$67,950$33,800
Wausau, WI110$48,260$23.2$58,420$37,170
* 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

Is seeking certification necessary for paralegals in Wisconsin?

Although Wisconsin does not require paralegals’ certification, seeking voluntary certification is important.

Voluntary certification helps you stand out while applying for jobs.

What are the requirements of a paralegal program applicant?

All paralegal program applicants in Wisconsin must:

  • Have consent to a background check
  • Be retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, or agency
  • Be directly supervised by a Wisconsin-licensed lawyer.

Where do Wisconsin paralegals seek voluntary certification?

These three organizations offer certification since they recognize the paralegal competency of Wisconsin:

  • National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA)
  • National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA)
  • Association of Legal Professionals.

USA Paralegal Schools by State

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