Indiana Paralegal Career Guide
This career guide is your starting point for launching a career as a paralegal in Indiana. Here you will find answers to the most common questions about how to become a paralegal in Indiana as well as Indiana paralegal salary information, job outlook, and career resources. Get started using the easy-to-navigate directory below.
Table of Contents:
- Paralegal Careers
- Job Outlook in Indiana
- Salary Outlook
- Paralegal Certification
- Career Quick Start Tips – How to Become a Paralegal in Indiana
- Additional Paralegal Resources
Though corporations and government agencies commonly hire paralegals, most opportunities for Indiana paralegal jobs are found in law firms. Firms across the state provide excellent opportunities for entry-level paralegals as well as professionals who are more advanced in their paralegal careers. Eichhorn & Eichhorn, LLP is a large, well-established business litigation firm representing clients throughout Indiana in energy and utilities, healthcare, transportation, manufacturing, and government. Bose, McKinney & Evans LLP is another large firm practicing in a variety of industries ranging from agribusiness and real estate to venture capital and private equity. Firms such as these provide good opportunities for paralegals who wish to focus on specific areas of law or who are interested in a large law firm setting. Large corporations with internal legal departments that commonly offer paralegal jobs in Indiana include Anthem, Eli Lilly, Cummins, and Steel Dynamics.
Job Outlook in Indiana
Projected Job Growth
Paralegals in Indiana from 2016-20261
In May 2017, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated 3,670 paralegals and legal assistants employed in Indiana.2 Over the coming years, law firms are expected to diversify the type of tasks allotted to paralegals and support staff and expand the overall number of support staff positions in an effort to reduce the cost of providing legal services. Similarly, corporate legal departments are expected to expand their paralegal and legal assistant staff and rely more heavily upon internal paralegal labor rather than more expensive outside counsel. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 15% employment growth for paralegals and legal assistants nationwide from 2016 to 2026.3 This projected growth rate is significantly higher than the projected employment growth for the average of all occupations at 7%.3 The outlook for Indiana paralegal jobs is even brighter, with a projected 18.8% increase in paralegal employment in the state from 2016 to 2026.1
Indiana Paralegal Salary Outlook
The reported average paralegal salary in Indiana as of May 2017 was $48,460.2 Though this annual wage is significantly lower than the national median annual salary for paralegals and legal assistants of $53,910, this may reflect the relatively low cost of living throughout the state.2 However, urban areas may offer higher average salaries; for example, the average paralegal salary in the Indianapolis area is $54,180.2 In addition, paralegals and legal assistants with national certification, formal paralegal education, and work experience may be better positioned to negotiate for higher salaries. Paired with the projected job growth for paralegals and legal assistants, the outlook for paralegal salary in Indiana is positive.
Indiana Paralegal Salary Info By Metro Area
A quick look at Indiana paralegal salary 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 Indiana
There are currently no statewide requirements for Indiana paralegal certification. Legal paraprofessionals, including paralegals and legal assistants, are permitted to perform law-related tasks under the direct supervision of a qualified attorney. Though Indiana regulations permit on-the-job paralegal training, most employers prefer candidates with formal paralegal education. The American Bar Association (ABA) has approved three Indiana paralegal programs, though numerous others are offered throughout the state. Upon completing a paralegal program in Indiana, paralegals are eligible to pursue voluntary national paralegal certification through an organization such as the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA), the National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc. (NALA), or the American Alliance of Paralegals (AAPI). These certification programs can increase a candidate’s marketability and indicate a high level of proficiency in both legal and professional skills.
While paralegal certification in Indiana is not mandatory, the Indiana State Bar Association (ISBA) does offer a voluntary paralegal certification, the Indiana Registered Paralegal. To become an Indiana Registered Paralegal, candidates must have been an affiliate member of ISBA for at least three years, be currently employed as a paralegal, and meet education and continuing legal education requirements. For more information, visit the ISBA website.
Whether or not they seek the Indiana Registered Paralegal designation, most paralegals in the state attend one of the degree or certificate programs offered by the numerous paralegal schools in Indiana. Upon completion of an Indiana paralegal program, entry-level professionals are encouraged to seek voluntary certification through ISBA and/or a national organization. For more information regarding paralegal education and career prospects in Indiana, refer to one of the Indiana paralegal associations listed below.
Career Quick Start Tips — How to Become a Paralegal in Indiana
Since there are no statewide requirements for paralegal certification in Indiana, there are a number of ways prospective paralegals may begin careers in the legal field. Most paralegals have completed a degree or certificate at one of the paralegal schools in Indiana. Supplementing an education with voluntary certification from a national paralegal organization can also supply entrants to the job market with valuable credentials. You can form a better understanding of what paralegal employers in Indiana are seeking from applicants by reviewing the Paralegal411 jobs board. For additional guidance on how to become a paralegal in Indiana, including information on national certification options, read our guide Steps to Become a Paralegal.
Paralegals promote the success of the firms for which they work and can make a positive impact for their employers and their employers’ clients. Supporting this success is access to up-to-date resources when they are needed. These career resources for Indiana paralegals can help you be a part of that success.
Indiana Paralegal Career Books
- Indiana Court Rules – By Summit Legal Publishing and updated annually, this guide to the rules of the Indiana Courts is an essential reference for paralegals involved in litigation. Chapters include the rules of trial, criminal, and appellate procedure as well as the rules of evidence, jury rules, and rules for lower courts. This text can be purchased in print or e-book editions.
- The US Notary Law Primer – Paralegals are commonly asked to perform notary tasks and therefore must keep up-to-date on notary rules and procedures. This guide to notary law can help entry-level paralegals learn notary procedure and is also a useful reference for experienced paralegals and notaries. The book includes information on proper identification, tracking notary acts, and guidelines for special circumstances.
- Fundamentals of Legal Research – Legal research is a fundamental skill for practicing paralegals and one that professionals hone throughout their careers. This broad overview of legal research techniques covers print as well as electronic means of finding case law and legal precedents as well as guidelines for legal writing. Regularly updated, Fundamentals of Legal Research is now in its ninth edition.
- Indiana Criminal and Traffic Law Manual – The Indiana Criminal and Traffic Law Manual is a handy, annotated e-book reference for paralegals working in criminal law. Included are updates through the latest legislative session, lists of the most common offenses cited by the Indiana State Police, and links to Lexis Advance for efficient legal research.
- Indiana Estate Guide with Forms – Written to help estate planners avoid the necessity of probate, this guide to estate planning in Indiana is helpful for professionals working in family law and related areas. Sample forms for the most common estate planning needs are included with the text.
Paralegal Job Search Websites for Indiana
- The Indiana Paralegal Association jobs board – Posts paralegal jobs in Indiana on its jobs board, though contact information for listings is only available to association members.
- Indianapolis Bar Association Paralegal Committee – Posts paralegal and legal assistant positions on its job board.
- Paralegal411 jobs board – To access even more paralegal jobs in Indiana, visit the our jobs board.
Indiana Court Info
- IN.gov/Judiciary – Both the upper and lower courts of Indiana are accessed through the Judicial Branch of Indiana web portal. From one site visitors can access contact information for courts and offices, look up court decisions and case records, and view court forms and rules. The web portal also includes court news, publications, and other links of interest to legal professionals.
Law Libraries in Indiana
- Indiana Supreme Court Law Library – The Indiana Supreme Court Library hosts a collection numbering over 70,000 volumes. In addition to titles in state law, the library holds numerous federal materials as a selective depository for the US government. Users may also access the library’s online resources for state-level legal research.
- Indiana University Bloomington Maurer School of Law – The Maurer School of Law at Indiana University Bloomington has an unusually broad circulation policy for a law library, allowing legal professionals as well as members of the general public to apply for a library circulation card with check-out privileges. Users may also access the library’s electronic legal databases. The first-rate collections at this law library include titles in state, federal, and international law, with deep holdings in Anglo-American legal history.
- Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Ruth Lilly Law Library – The Robert H. McKinney School of Law at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis is home to the Ruth Lilly Law Library, which houses over 600,000 print volumes in addition to extensive electronic resources and microforms. This technologically advanced law library also has a microform to digital reader/printer. Legal professionals and members of the general public may use the library for research purposes, though circulation privileges are restricted.
Paralegal Associations in Indiana
- Indiana Paralegal Association, Inc. – The Indiana Paralegal Association seeks to promote the paralegal profession in accordance with high legal ethics while encouraging networking between legal professionals. The organization was founded in 1979 and holds regular meetings and events of interest to paralegals for its nearly 400 members statewide. Annual dues are $85 for voting members, $75 for associate members, and $45 for student members.
- Michiana Paralegal Association, Inc. – The Michiana Paralegal Association was founded in 1999 and serves paralegals across northwest Indiana and southwest Michigan. The association regularly hosts social events in addition to professional events and seminars. Annual dues are $65 for voting members, $50 for associate members, and $30 for student members.
- Northeast Indiana Paralegal Association – Since 1974 the Northeast Indiana Paralegal Association has been serving the needs of Indiana paralegals with continuing education and professional networking events. An affiliate of the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA), this organization also offers regular luncheons and seminars to its members. Annual dues are $75 for voting members, $65 for associate members, and $35 for student members.
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, Indiana: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_in.htm
5. American Bar Association: https://www.americanbar.org/groups/paralegals/paralegal-resource-directory/