Vermont Paralegal Career and Salary Guide
Our Vermont paralegal career guide is your starting point for becoming a paralegal or legal assistant. Vermont has no statewide requirements to become a paralegal. However, obtaining a degree or certificate in paralegal studies and/or becoming a certified paralegal or legal assistant can increase job opportunities and expand your hiring potential. This guide is designed to answer your questions about how to become a paralegal in Vermont with salary information, job outlook, and career resources. Begin researching your paralegal career with the easy-to-use directory below.
Table of Contents
- How to Become a Paralegal in Vermont
- Paralegal Certification
- Paralegal Career and Salary Outlook
- Paralegal Resources
How to Become a Paralegal in Vermont
Since Vermont paralegal certification is voluntary, paralegals in the state may take a variety of career paths. Beginning in an entry-level position, such as a legal document preparer or legal secretary, can allow candidates to work their way up the career ladder. Formal education, certification, and work experience will continue to benefit applicants for paralegal openings.
National certification is another highly desirable credential in the eyes of employers which can give paralegal candidates a competitive edge in the job search.
1. Earn a degree or certificate in paralegal studies.
Although certification in Vermont is voluntary, obtaining a formal education earned through one of the Vermont paralegal programs can greatly improve your hiring potential. Currently, there are no Vermont paralegal programs approved by the American Bar Association (ABA).1 However, a few paralegal programs are available across the state and in neighboring states, including certificates, associate degrees, and bachelor’s degrees.
2. Gain experience.
On-the-job experience can be gained through internships and job shadowing and is commonly offered as part of paralegal education programs. On-site training is also available at law firms and corporate legal departments throughout the state. Some paralegals even start at the entry level as document preparers or legal secretaries.
3. Seek certification, if desired.
Although Vermont paralegal certification is not required to become a paralegal in the state, voluntary certification is a highly desirable credential in the eyes of employers. You can read more about Vermont certification below.
Paralegal Certification in Vermont
There are currently no requirements for Vermont paralegal certification. Paralegals may obtain training through a variety of avenues and are permitted to perform law-related tasks under the direct supervision of a qualified attorney. Vermont defines paralegals and legal assistants as paraprofessionals qualified by education, training, or work experience who must be supervised by an attorney or organization while performing substantive legal work. Many Vermont paralegals become members of the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA); the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA); or the American Alliance of Paralegals (AAPI). These associations offer paralegal certification programs widely accepted as the industry standard of professional excellence. You can read more about national paralegal certification through our guide Steps to Become a Paralegal
Vermont Paralegal Career and Salary Outlook
Though corporations, government agencies, and insurance groups are expanding paralegal employment, private law firms remain the primary source of paralegal jobs in Vermont and nationwide. Paralegals and legal assistants wishing to specialize in a particular practice area should look for positions in specialized firms or in large firms with subject-specific teams, which tend to allocate support staff for specific legal practice areas. Vermont hosts several prominent law firms including Dinse, based in Burlington. With a range of practice areas and over 30 attorneys, Dinse is a reputable firm that employs paralegals. Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC is another highly regarded Vermont law firm. With offices throughout Vermont including in Brattleboro, Burlington, Lebanon, Montpelier, and St. Johnsbury, the firm operates in several different areas of law and may be a great place for paralegals to search for jobs.
Corporations may offer promising Vermont paralegal jobs for those interested in business-related practice fields. Vermont hosts several large companies including UVM Medical Center, Ben & Jerry’s, IDX Systems, BioTek Instruments, Inc., Burton Snowboards, and Vertek Corporation. Government agencies at the local, state, and federal levels can also be a good source for finding Vermont paralegal jobs.
LinkedIn is a good research resource where you can search on geography (Vermont or city-level) for “paralegal” to find networking opportunities and also companies most associated with users identifying as paralegals; companies in Vermont with the most LinkedIn users as paralegals include:
- Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC
- Langrock Sperry & Wool, LLP
- Primmer Piper Eggleston & Cramer PC
- Sheehey Furlong & Behm P.C.
- State of Vermont
- University of Vermont
- Vermont Law School
For more information about paralegal careers, take a look at our careers page.
Vermont Paralegal Salary Information
Projected Job Growth
Paralegals in Vermont from 2018-20282
In May 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported 630 paralegals and legal assistants employed throughout Vermont.3 As law firms and corporations work to minimize the expense of providing and accessing legal services, an increase in paralegal and legal assistant employment is projected. Paralegals are additionally expected to take on certain tasks previously allocated to attorneys, thus diversifying the role of paralegals in the workplace. Accordingly, Projections Central predicts a 9.6% employment growth for paralegals and legal assistants in Vermont from 2018 to 2028, slightly less than the nationwide projected growth of 12% for the same time period.2 An average of 90 annual openings for paralegals is expected in the state through 2028.2 The southern Vermont nonmetropolitan area is ranked among the highest for concentration of paralegal jobs in nonmetropolitan areas across the country.3
The average paralegal salary in Vermont was reported at $52,050 in 2020.3 Though this is lower than the national average paralegal salary of $56,610, the cost of living in many areas of the state is lower than the national average.3 Paralegals with voluntary certifications, a formal paralegal education, and real world experience may be better positioned for higher salaries. Estimates are based on national data, not school-specific information; data accessed in January 2022.
Vermont Paralegal Salary by Metro Area
|Metro Area||Number Employed4||Average Annual Salary4|
|Northern Vermont Nonmetropolitan Area||140||$50,230|
|Southern Vermont Nonmetropolitan Area||240||$50,130|
Paralegal Associations in Vermont
These are volunteer organizations, typically with elected boards, that focus on professional development and networking for a specific geographical location and/or area of law.
- Vermont Bar Association (VBA): Strives to promote professionalism, high ethical standards, and foster a respect for the law by supporting legal professionals throughout the state.
- Vermont Paralegal Organization (VPO): Promotes paralegal professionalism by providing continuing educational and networking opportunities for paralegals throughout the state.
- Paralegal411 Jobs Board: You can search for paralegal jobs in Vermont on our jobs board.
- Vermont Law Julien and Virginia Cornell Library: Houses over 400,000 volumes in addition to digital resources and specialized research databases.
- Vermont Judiciary: Provides links to all courts within Vermont and gives access to court information, forms, rules, and e-filing systems, as well as legal research tools.
- Vermont State Library: Hosts state and federal legal research materials online through the state library system.
1. American Bar Association Directory of ABA Approved Paralegal Education Programs: https://www.americanbar.org/groups/paralegals/paralegal-resource-directory/
2. Projections Central Long Term Occupational Projections: https://projectionscentral.org/Projections/LongTerm
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2020 Occupational Employment and Wages, Paralegals and Legal Assistants: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes232011.htm
4. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2020 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oessrcma.htm