Kansas Paralegal Career and Salary Guide
This guide to paralegal careers in Kansas is designed to help you start your career as a paralegal or legal assistant. While there are no statewide standards or certifications required for paralegals in Kansas, many jobs in the field require a degree in paralegal studies, such as an associate degree or a certificate. Here you will find answers to the most common questions about how to become a paralegal in Kansas, including Kansas certification options, paralegal salary information, job outlook, and career resources. Begin your journey to a paralegal career using the directory below.
Table of Contents
- How to Become a Paralegal in Kansas
- Paralegal Certification
- Paralegal Career and Salary Outlook
- Paralegal Resources
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 the state possess some combination of education and experience, which may include on-the-job training or internships completed as part of a degree program. Voluntary certification through a national or state organization following graduation from a Kansas paralegal program can give paralegal candidates a competitive edge in the job market. As paralegal jobs in Kansas continue to diversify and expand in professional scope, there are many opportunities for entry-level paralegals.
1. Earn a degree or certificate in paralegal studies.
Although there are no mandated educational requirements for paralegals in Kansas, paralegal and legal assistants are strongly encouraged to obtain formal education before seeking employment. Earning a certificate, associate’s degree, or bachelor’s degree from one of the paralegal schools in Kansas is the most common path for prospective paralegals in the state. Currently, there is one approved paralegal program by the American Bar Association (ABA) in Kansas.1
2. Gain experience.
Through degree or certificate programs, paralegal candidates are typically offered invaluable on-the-job experience through internships or job shadowing opportunities. This type of real-world experience can help paralegals in their job searches, as previous experience can reduce training time for new hires.
3. Seek certification, if desired.
Although obtaining certification through a national association is voluntary, doing so can demonstrate to potential employers a paralegal’s dedication and commitment to the profession.
Paralegal Certification in Kansas
In Kansas, paralegals are classified as legal paraprofessionals and are permitted to perform substantive legal tasks under a supervising attorney. Currently, Kansas paralegal certification is not required and the state does not regulate the hiring or education of paralegals. However, many paralegals choose to seek certification through a national organization such as the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA, the Paralegal Association), the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA), or the National Association for Legal Professionals (NALS). All of these organizations offer voluntary certification programs including examinations designed to raise the national level of competency and professionalism in the paralegal occupation. These certification exams have various education and work experience prerequisites that should be consulted before applying.
Prospective paralegals are also encouraged to seek guidance from the Kansas paralegal associations listed below. For more information on national certification options, take a look at our guide Steps to Become a Paralegal.
Although Kansas paralegal certification is not required, the Kansas Bar Association (KBA) has outlined criteria to guide employers in hiring qualified paralegals. Under these guidelines, paralegals are considered qualified if they have completed one of the following:
- Graduated from an ABA-approved paralegal studies program
- Passed one of the national certification exams
- Completed a bachelor’s degree in any subject and at least one year of in-house paralegal training
- Completed five years of work in a legal setting under the supervision of a lawyer
Kansas Paralegal Career and Salary Outlook
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 nearly 90 attorneys working from its offices in Wichita, Topeka, and Kansas City. 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. LinkedIn is a good research resource where you can search on geography (Kansas or city-level) for “paralegal” to find networking opportunities and also companies most associated with users identifying as paralegals; companies in Kansas with the most LinkedIn users as paralegals include:
- Black and Veatch
- Cerner Corporation
- Kansas State University
- The University of Kansas
- US Army
For more information about paralegal careers, take a look at our careers page.
Kansas Paralegal Salary Information
Projected Job Growth
Paralegals in Kansas from 2018 to 20282
In May 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported 2,450 paralegals and legal assistants employed throughout Kansas.3 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. Projections Central projects 13.6% employment growth for paralegal and legal assistant positions in Kansas from 2018 to 2028,e similar to the national projected paralegal job growth rate of 12%.2 This equates to 300 average annual openings in Kansas during the decade.2 The nonmetropolitan area of Kansas has the highest employment of paralegals and legal assistants in the nation.3
The average Kansas paralegal salary was reported at $45,090, a figure below the national median salary for paralegals and legal assistants of $56,610, but it may reflect the lower cost of living throughout the state.3 However, 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 $50,150.3 As the demand for paralegals increases, salaries can be expected to become more competitive. Paralegals with voluntary certification, paralegal education, and experience may be better positioned for higher salaries. Estimates are based on national data, not school-specific information; data accessed in December 2021.
Kansas Paralegal Salary by Metro Area
|Metro Area||Number Employed4||Average Annual Salary4|
|Kansas City KS-MO||N.Av.||$50,150|
Paralegal Associations in Kansas
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.
- Kansas Association of Legal Assistants/Paralegals (KALA): Works to provide legal education and professional opportunities to its members throughout the state.
- Kansas Bar Association (KBA): Provides legal professionals, including paralegals and legal assistants, with current legal news and a jobs board with open paralegal jobs in Kansas.
- Kansas City Paralegal Association (KCPA): Serves paralegals and legal assistants in the greater Kansas City area by offering networking opportunities, professional development seminars, and regular luncheons with legal professionals.
- Kansas Paralegal Association (KPA): Supports paralegals throughout the state with luncheon meetings, pro bono activities, educational seminars, and networking events.
- Paralegal411 Jobs Board: To search for paralegal openings in Kansas, visit our jobs board.
- Kansas Judicial Branch: A one-stop website for all courts in the state’s jurisdiction and provides access to court forms and rules, dockets, and e-filing systems.
- 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.
- University of Kansas Wheat Law Library: Hosts a comprehensive collection of state, local, and international legal titles, offering 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.
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