These days, many Montana residents have begun to seriously consider a career as a paralegal. If this is the case for you, it’s important to learn as much as possible regarding how to attain the education and training necessary to work within the state. Learn more about these important issues by reading the short outline that appears below:
To work as a paralegal in the state of Montana, you must obtain qualification. Qualification can include an associate degree, bachelor’s degree, or national certification. Individuals who have extensive work experience or a law degree can also qualify to work within the field. As outlined in HB 301, paralegals cannot work unless they are being supervised by an attorney. However, they can perform substantive legal work.
In the state of Montana, paralegals who attain national certification can legally refer to themselves as paralegals. Individuals who meet the work and educational experience requirements and also pass the national exam can attain certification. After the exam is completed successfully, test-takers are referred to as certified paralegals. There are four national exams that can be taken, including the PACE, PCC, CLA/CP, and PP.
When an individual undergoes paralegal training, the specifics of their educational and experiential work will differ based on the program. However, some of the common topics covered in training programs include:
• Legal ethics and terminology
• Litigation process
• The rules of evidence
• Basic investigation and interviewing techniques
• Preparation of discovery matter, including Requests for Production of Documents, Requests for Admissions, and Interrogatories
• Research techniques and skills for use in legal briefs, motions, and memoranda
• Preparation of legal documents
University of Great Falls
University of Montana
Montana State University-Billings
Paralegal Job Outlook
The projected job growth for paralegals in Montana is 23.5% from 2014-2024. The projected job growth has been linked to the desire to reduce costs by delegating some of the attorney’s tasks to the paralegal. Additionally, reports indicate that corporations will likely expand their use of internal legal departments as opposed to finding more costly counsel outside the firm. Each of these trends should induce the development of new positions for legal assistants and paralegals.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the average 2014 salary for a paralegal was $44,180. This annual wage is lower than the national average. However, the discrepancy likely reflects the fact that the cost of living in the state is relatively lower. Also, the median salary for paralegals who work in urban areas is significantly higher. For example, paralegals who work in Billings generate an annual income of $50,940.40. Other factors, including level of education and experience, can impact a paralegal’s income.
Don’t Delay: Pursue Your Dream Career Today!
Individuals who are thinking about becoming a paralegal in Montana should obtain as much information as possible regarding how to do so. You can use the information found in this quick reference guide to start activating your vocational goal right now.