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Kansas Paralegal Career Guide

This guide to paralegal careers in Kansas is designed to help you start your career as a paralegal or legal assistant. Here you will find answers to the most common questions about how to become a paralegal in Kansas, including Kansas paralegal salary information, job outlook, and career resources. Begin your journey to a paralegal career using the directory below.

Table of Contents:
Paralegal Careers
Job Outlook in Kansas
Salary Outlook
Salary by Metro Area
Paralegal Certification
Certification in Kansas
Career Quick Start Tips – How to Become a Paralegal in Kansas
Additional Paralegal Resources
Kansas Paralegal Career Books
Paralegal Job Search Websites
Kansas State Court Info
Law Libraries in Kansas
Paralegal Associations in Kansas

Paralegal Careers

Though corporate legal departments and government agencies are hiring more paralegals and legal assistants across the country, private law firms continue to employ the majority of legal support professionals. Foulston Siefkin LLP is the largest law firm in Kansas with over 90 attorneys working from its offices in Wichita, Topeka, and Overland Park. The firm represents a wide range of clients in over 40 legal practice areas, providing paralegals with opportunities to specialize. Polsinelli PC is a large national firm founded in Kansas City that has offices in many major US cities. Polsinelli specializes in litigation, business, and financial services. This firm may provide strong opportunities for paralegals who want to specialize in a specific area of law in a large firm environment.

Corporate legal departments also provide paralegal jobs in Kansas. Leading companies in the state include QuikTrip, Sprint Corporation, Seaboard Corporation, and YRC Worldwide. Other opportunities for Kansas paralegals may be found in government agencies, banks, and financial services firms.

Job Outlook in Kansas

Projected Job Growth

18.2%

Paralegals in Kansas from 2012-20221

As law firms work to minimize the cost of providing legal services, paralegal and legal assistant support positions are expected to expand. Corporations are also expected to depend more heavily on paralegals within internal legal departments. In May 2012, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics projected a 17% employment growth rate for paralegal and legal assistant positions nationwide from 2012 to 2022.2 This projection compares favorably with the average projected employment growth rate for all US occupations and the average projected rate for all legal professions, both at 11% over the same period.2 Growth in Kansas paralegal jobs should be similar to the national paralegal job growth rate, as the Kansas Labor Information Center has projected a 18.2% employment growth rate for paralegals in the state from 2012 to 2022.1

Kansas Paralegal Salary Outlook

In May 2014 the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 1,850 paralegals and legal assistants employed throughout Kansas.3 The average Kansas paralegal salary was reported at $42,790.3 This wage is slightly below the national median salary for paralegals and legal assistants at $48,350 and may reflect the lower cost of living throughout the state.4 Prospective paralegals should be aware that the average paralegal salary in Kansas is higher in urban areas. For example, Kansas City-area paralegals earn an annual average of $48,870.4 As demand for paralegals increases, salaries can be expected to become more competitive.

Kansas Paralegal Salary Info By Metro Area

A look at paralegal salary in Kansas by metro area:

Metro AreaNumber EmployedAverage Annual Salary
Kansas City KS-MO2,390$48,870
Topeka300$40,290
Wichita500$46,650

Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2014.

Paralegal Certification in Kansas

Currently, Kansas paralegal certification is not required and the state does not regulate the hiring or education of paralegals. Some law firms and corporate legal departments continue to offer in-house paralegal training for candidates who have completed general degrees, but employers are showing a preference for candidates who have completed one of the numerous Kansas paralegal programs. Paralegal schools in Kansas are located throughout the state and offer programs that typically include an introduction to basic substantive areas of law as well as technical proficiency courses in professional writing, research, and technology skills. The American Bar Association (ABA) has approved one paralegal program in the state. Upon completion of one of the available Kansas paralegal programs, prospective professionals are encouraged to seek national certification from a national paralegal association such as the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) or the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA).

Kansas Certification

Although Kansas paralegal certification is not required, the Kansas Bar Association has outlined criteria to guide employers in hiring qualified paralegals. Under these guidelines paralegals are considered qualified if they have completed an American Bar Association-approved paralegal studies program, passed one of the national certification exams, completed a baccalaureate degree and one year of in-house paralegal training, or completed five years of work in a legal setting under the supervision of a lawyer. Though not mandatory, national certification is highly recommended. You can learn more about paralegal education and certification through the Kansas paralegal associations listed below.

Career Quick Start Tips — How to Become a Paralegal in Kansas

Since there are no Kansas paralegal certification standards at the state level, paralegals may begin their careers through a variety of paths. Most paralegals in Kansas possess some combination of education and experience, which may include on-the-job training or internships completed at one of the paralegal schools in Kansas. Formal education, national certification, and work experience will continue to benefit candidates in the competition for Kansas paralegal jobs. You can view employers’ typical requirements on our paralegal jobs board. You can also find out more about national certification with our guide Steps to Become a Paralegal.

Paralegal Resources

Paralegals are positioned to make a positive difference for their firms and for their firms’ clients. Part of a paralegal’s success is based on being able to provide the right resources when they are needed. The following resources for Kansas paralegals can help you build your career.

Kansas Paralegal Career Books

  • Kansas Legal Research – Focused specifically on sources of Kansas law, this guide to legal research in the state is an easy-to-understand primer and ongoing reference. The book takes a process-oriented approach to legal research, covering primary and secondary sources of law in print and online. Also included are legal citation rules and tips for research in federal law and the laws of other states.
  • Kansas Employment Laws – Paralegals working for in-house legal departments and for attorneys who represent clients with employment law cases will find this book an invaluable reference. In addition to the text of the law, this book summarizes the most important laws regulating employment relationships in the state, with active links to current statutes.
  • Family Law for Paralegals – Family law is a major area of practice for attorneys and paralegals working in this area should have familiarity with the processes and regulations in place for family law actions. This text is written specifically to help paralegals to understand the fundamentals of family law in various areas, with tips for research, legal writing, and much more.

Paralegal Job Search Websites for Kansas

Kansas Court Info

  • KSCourts.org – The Kansas Judicial Branch maintains a one-stop website for all courts in the state’s jurisdiction. This site provides access to court forms and rules, dockets, and e-filing systems. Site visitors will also find a range of court publications and legal research tools.

Law Libraries in Kansas

  • Kansas Supreme Court Law Library – Located in Topeka, the Kansas Supreme Court Law Library holds over 185,000 print volumes in addition to electronic collections of over 600 periodicals and other holdings. Members of the bar may apply for circulation privileges, and copying and faxing of library holdings is available at a nominal charge. Library users may also request titles from partnering local law libraries.
  • University of Kansas Wheat Law Library – On the main campus of the University of Kansas in Lawrence, the Wheat Law Library has a comprehensive collection of state, local, and international legal titles. The library also offers electronic legal research resources to its guests and has a strong microform collection with Native American resources, US Supreme Court documents, and other archival materials.

Paralegal Associations in Kansas

  • Kansas Association of Legal Assistants/Paralegals – Founded in 1981, the Kansas Association of Legal Assistants/Paralegals is an affiliate of the National Association for Legal Assistants (NALA). The organization works to provide legal education and professional opportunities to its members. Annual dues are $50 for voting members, $25 for affiliate members, and $15 for student members.
  • Kansas City Paralegal Association – The Kansas City Paralegal Association was incorporated in 1975 to serve paralegals and legal assistants in the greater Kansas City area. Membership benefits include networking opportunities, professional development seminars, and regular luncheons with like-minded professionals. Annual dues are $45 for voting members, $40 for affiliate members, and $20 for student members.
  • Kansas Paralegal Association – The Kansas Paralegal Association is an active association serving paralegals statewide with luncheon meetings, pro bono activities, education seminars, and more throughout the year. The organization is an affiliate of the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA). Annual dues are $75 for voting members, $65 for affiliate members, and $40 for student members.

References:
1. Kansas Labor Information Center: https://klic.dol.ks.gov/vosnet/Default.aspx
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 2014 Occupational Outlook Handbook, Paralegals and Legal Assistants: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/Legal/Paralegals-and-legal-assistants.htm#tab-6
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates,
Kansas: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ks.htm
4. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Occupational Employment and Wages, Paralegals and Legal Assistants: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes232011.htm
5. American Bar Association Standing Committee on Paralegals: https://www.americanbar.org/groups/paralegals/paralegal-resource-directory/