Idaho Paralegal Career and Salary Guide
Welcome to our Idaho paralegal career guide! This guide is designed to answer the most common questions about how to become a paralegal in Idaho. While there are no statewide standards or certifications required for paralegals in Idaho, many jobs in the field require an associate degree or a certificate in paralegal studies. In our overview, you will find detailed information on how to become a paralegal in Idaho, certification options, Idaho paralegal salaries, 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
- How to Become a Paralegal in Idaho
- Paralegal Certification
- Paralegal Career and Salary Outlook
- Paralegal Resources
How to Become a Paralegal in Idaho
As there are no formal requirements for Idaho paralegals, candidates can begin a career in the state through a variety of means. Most working paralegals possess a combination of education and experience. Many prospective paralegals attend a paralegal studies degree program and get an associate or bachelor’s degree, or a certificate. 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.
1. Earn a degree or certificate in paralegal studies.
Paralegals and legal assistants typically complete one of the many paralegal programs in Idaho to gain a certificate, an associate degree, or a bachelor’s degree. Though there are no mandated minimum educational requirements in the state, paralegal candidates and legal assistants are strongly encouraged to seek formal education in the field. The American Bar Association (ABA) has not approved programs in the state as of December 2021, but there are many.1
2. Gain experience.
Many paralegal programs in the state will include on-the-job training, which may be in the form of internships or job shadowing. Gaining real-world experience in the paralegal field can give candidates a competitive advantage when it comes to securing entry-level paralegal jobs. Law firms, government agencies, and corporate in-house legal offices may also offer internship experiences for paralegal candidates.
3. Seek certification, if desired.
Professional paralegal certification at the state or national level is a great way to become more competitive in the job market and can lead to higher salaries. Obtaining certification is voluntary in Idaho, but it can be highly desirable for employers who are seeking knowledgeable and committed paralegal candidates.
Paralegal Certification in Idaho
Though there is no statewide requirement for Idaho paralegal certification, there are voluntary certification programs that can benefit paralegal candidates. National organizations offer certification programs to maintain a consistent level of competency within the paralegal profession nationwide. The National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA, the Paralegal Association); the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA); and the American Alliance of Paralegals (AAPI) offer voluntary certification programs that are widely accepted by the industry as preparing candidates for professional excellence. Obtaining voluntary certification from these associations is highly recommended and will make you a more attractive candidate to potential employers. The certification examinations offered by these organizations have educational requirements that may be fulfilled by a combination of general education, paralegal education, and experience in the paralegal field. Our guide Steps to Become a Paralegal provides additional information on national certification options. Prospective paralegals are also encouraged to consult with and seek membership in the Idaho paralegal associations listed below.
Idaho Paralegal Career and Salary Outlook
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 a large full-service law firm in Boise, 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. Also in Boise, McKenzie Law Offices, P.C. 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 those 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. LinkedIn is a good research resource where you can search on geography (Idaho or city-level) for “paralegal” to find networking opportunities and also companies most associated with users identifying as paralegals; companies in Idaho with the most LinkedIn users as paralegals include:
- Boise State University
- Brigham Young University-Idaho
- Givens Pursley LLP
- Hawley Troxell
- Johnson May
- Idaho State University
- Micron Technology
- Perkins Coie LLP
- St. Luke’s Health System
For more information about paralegal careers, take a look at our careers page.
Idaho Paralegal Salary Information
Projected Job Growth
Paralegals in Idaho from 2018-20282
In May 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported 1,460 paralegals and legal assistants employed in Idaho.3 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. Projections Central estimates a 9.7% growth in Idaho paralegal jobs between 2018 and 2028, slightly lower than the national paralegal job projection of 12% over the same time period.2 Urban areas such as Boise are expected to have the highest demand for paralegals and legal assistants.
The average paralegal salary in Idaho was reported at $49,830 in 2020.3 While this is lower than the national average paralegal salary of $56,610, the difference may reflect the generally low cost of living in Idaho.3 In addition, paralegals in Boise City earn a slightly higher annual average than others in the state, reported at $55,770.4 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. Paralegals with national certification, experience, and formal paralegal education will continue to be the most competitive candidates.
Idaho Paralegal Salary by Metro Area
|Metro Area||Number Employed4||Average Annual Salary4|
Paralegal Associations in Idaho
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.
- Idaho Association of Paralegals (IAP): Seeks to promote professional development for paralegals throughout the state and provide networking opportunities, sponsor continuing legal education, and encourage high ethics for its membership.
- Idaho State Bar: Controls and regulates the legal profession throughout the state and serves as a comprehensive resource for legal professionals in Idaho, with a jobs board for paralegals who are searching for employoment.
- Idaho Judicial Branch: The official website for Idaho that provides links to trial courts throughout the state.
- Idaho State Law Library: Provides the general public and legal professionals access to print and electronic legal resources in an effort to increase the public’s understanding of Idaho law and give legal professionals reliable research sources.
- Idaho State University Arthur P. Oliver Law Library: Based on the main campus in Pocatello, the Arthur P. Oliver Law Library is open to legal professionals and the general public.
- Paralegal411 Jobs Board: Search for Idaho paralegal jobs on our jobs board.
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