Idaho Paralegal Career Guide
This paralegal career guide is designed to answer the most common questions about how to become a paralegal in Idaho. In our overview, you will find detailed information on Idaho paralegal salary, job outlook, and career resources to help you launch your career as a paralegal in the state. Start your career exploration with the easy-to-navigate directory below.
Table of Contents:
- Paralegal Careers
- Job Outlook in Idaho
- Salary Outlook
- Paralegal Certification
- Career Quick Start Tips – How to Become a Paralegal in Idaho
- Additional Paralegal Resources
Though many banks and corporate legal departments employ paralegals and legal assistants, law firms continue to provide the greatest number of paralegal jobs in Idaho. Hawley Troxell is Boise’s largest full-service business law firm, specializing in antitrust law, banking, construction, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, and renewable energies. As a large firm, Hawley Troxell requires paralegal support services in a variety of legal areas. The firm encourages promotion from within for motivated and talented staff members. Also in Boise, McKenzie Law Offices, PLLC is an established firm with a reputation for excellent service. This firm may be a good option for paralegals with an interest in criminal defense, immigration, and trademark law or who are interested in a smaller, more intimate work setting.
Major corporate employers in Idaho include Micron Technology, Edward Jones, and Idaho Central Credit Union. For prospective paralegals interested in areas such as business law, taxation, and corporate litigation, these corporations may provide fitting career opportunities in internal legal departments. Government agencies are also good starting points for entry-level professionals looking for paralegal jobs in Idaho.
Job Outlook in Idaho
Projected Job Growth
Paralegals in Idaho from 2016-20261
In May 2017, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 1,000 paralegals and legal assistants employed in Idaho, a significant increase over the 730 paralegals and legal assistants reported in the state in May 2011.2 As firms seek to minimize the cost of providing legal services, a shift from attorney-based labor to paralegal and legal assistant labor is expected. This shift may result in a more diverse array of legal tasks being allotted to paralegals as the overall number of positions for support staff increases. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 15% employment growth for paralegals nationwide between 2016 and 2026.3 More moderate, though still positive, growth in Idaho paralegal jobs of 13.8% is anticipated over the same period.1 Urban areas such as Boise are expected to have the highest demand for paralegals and legal assistants.
Idaho Paralegal Salary Outlook
The average paralegal salary in Idaho was reported at $43,430 in 2017.2 While this is lower than the national average paralegal salary of $53,910, the difference may reflect the generally low cost of living in Idaho.2 In addition, paralegals in the Boise-Nampa area earn a slightly higher annual average, reported at $46,200.2 The projected growth trends for paralegals and legal assistants nationwide may combine to produce favorable hiring conditions and higher salary offers through the next decade.
Idaho Paralegal Salary Info By Metro Area
An overview of paralegal salary in Idaho by metro area:
|Metro Area||Number Employed||Average Annual Salary|
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2017.4
Paralegal Certification in Idaho
There are no requirements for Idaho paralegal certification at the state level, nor has the state set mandatory education minimums for those employed as paralegals within the state. Though some law firms and corporations offer on-site paralegal training, many employers prefer paralegal candidates with formal education such as that earned at one of the paralegal schools in Idaho. Various paralegal degree programs are offered at colleges and universities throughout Idaho. Though there are no American Bar Association (ABA) approved programs within the state, the available Idaho paralegal programs are generally accepted as appropriate training for entry-level paralegal careers. Upon completing a paralegal degree program, it is suggested that prospective paralegals seek voluntary certification from a national paralegal organization such as the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA) or the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA). These organizations offer certification programs that are based on education and experience requirements and a cumulative exam covering legal topics and paralegal skills.
Though there are currently no Idaho paralegal certification requirements, employers in the state do tend to prefer candidates who have attended one of the paralegal schools in Idaho or another state. Completion of one of the available Idaho paralegal programs provides candidates with career-oriented skills and can qualify candidates to take voluntary national certification exams, which can strengthen career prospects. Overall, paralegals with national certification, experience, and formal paralegal education will continue to be the most competitive candidates. Prospective paralegals are also encouraged to consult with and seek membership in the Idaho paralegal associations listed below.
Career Quick Start Tips — How to Become a Paralegal in Idaho
As there are no formal requirements for Idaho paralegal certification, candidates can begin a paralegal career in the state through a variety of means. Most working paralegals possess a combination of education and experience. Some paralegals begin their careers as legal document preparers or legal secretaries and work their way up the career ladder. Many Idaho paralegals also choose to pursue national certification. Our guide Steps to Become a Paralegal provides additional information on national certification options. You can get a better idea of the typical requirements for Idaho paralegal jobs on our jobs board.
As a paralegal, you will play an important role in supporting the success of your firm, and will also be positioned to make a difference in the lives of your firm’s clients. Successful paralegals know that having the right resources at the right time is a critical skill in the legal environment. These Idaho paralegal career resources can help you become more competitive in your career.
Idaho Paralegal Career Books
- Idaho Legal Research – This state-specific text for legal research provides professionals with a process-oriented guide for finding statutes and case law. The text is divided into chapters based on area of law with a focus on primary sources, and secondary sources are also covered. The text also discusses research strategies, citation, and rules of the court.
- Paralegal Ethics Handbook – Ethics are as important to legal support staff as they are to attorneys. This handbook focuses on ethics in paralegal practice with common as well as hypothetical situations framed to discuss the ethics underlying specific courses of action. The text also covers ethics in less-common areas of practice such as freelance paralegal support and alternative dispute resolution.
- Idaho Criminal and Traffic Law Manual – Updated annually, this guide to criminal and traffic law in Idaho is helpful for paralegals working for attorneys in defense or prosecution. The text focuses on the most-often referenced statutes in Idaho law and includes helpful research and practice tips.
Paralegal Job Search Websites for Idaho
- Idaho State Bar – Frequently posts paralegal jobs in Idaho on its jobs board.
- Paralegal411 jobs board – For even more Idaho paralegal jobs, be sure to check out our jobs board.
Idaho Court Info
- Idaho.gov iCourt Portal – The Idaho State Judiciary maintains this website to help Idahoans access information for the trial courts in the state. On this site visitors will find links for case search functions for records back to 1995. Also provided are court calendars and a local court directory to access individual court sites.
Law Libraries in Idaho
- Idaho State Law Library – Located in Boise, the Idaho State Law Library is jointly managed by the Idaho Supreme Court and the University of Idaho College of Law. The library holds over 30,000 print volumes in its main collection, with a further 90,000 volumes in storage that are available by request. Legal professionals and the general public are invited to access the collection, which also includes numerous electronic resources.
- Idaho State University Arthur P. Oliver Law Library – Based on the main campus of Idaho State University in Pocatello, the Arthur P. Oliver Law Library is open to legal professionals and the general public. Most materials do not circulate but users may request photocopy delivery of select library materials at a nominal fee.
Paralegal Associations in Idaho
- Idaho Association of Paralegals, Inc. – Based in Boise, the Idaho Association of Paralegals is currently the only active paralegal association in the state. The organization was founded in 1980 and seeks to promote professional development for paralegals across the state. Membership is based on qualifying criteria and active members must complete continuing education each year to renew membership. Annual dues are $50 for active members and $35 for students.
1. Projections Central: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2017 Occupational Employment and Wages, Paralegals and Legal Assistants: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes232011.htm
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Paralegals and Legal Assistants: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/Legal/Paralegals-and-legal-assistants.htm#tab-5
4. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2017 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Idaho: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_id.htm
5. American Bar Association: https://www.americanbar.org/groups/paralegals/paralegal-resource-directory/