Nebraska Paralegal Career Guide
Our guide is designed to provide the answers to the most common questions about how to become a paralegal in Nebraska. On this page, you will find in-depth information on Nebraska paralegal salary, job outlook, and career resources to help you prepare for a paralegal career in the state. Begin your career exploration using the easy-to-navigate directory below.
Table of Contents:
- Paralegal Careers
- Job Outlook In Nebraska
- Salary Outlook
- Paralegal Certification
- Career Quick Start Tips – How to Become a Paralegal in Nebraska
- Additional Paralegal Resources
Law firms are currently the primary employers of paralegal labor nationwide. Large regional or national law firms tend to heavily rely on paralegal support and may provide fitting Nebraska paralegal job opportunities for those wishing to specialize in a specific practice area. Kutak Rock LLP is a large national firm based in Omaha with 16 offices across the country. The firm practices in virtually every area of law and is known for offering competitive compensation and a positive work environment. Another large Omaha law firm is McGrath, North, Mullin & Kratz, a full-service firm that develops area-focused workgroups of paralegals and attorneys who collaborate to provide excellent customer service and results.
Corporate legal departments also rely on paralegal labor. Large corporations based in Nebraska include Berkshire Hathaway, Union Pacific, and ConAgra Foods. Medium-sized corporations may also be good starting points for recently graduated paralegals. Individuals interested in litigation and public policy are encouraged to look into Nebraska paralegal jobs in government agencies at the local, state, and federal levels.
Job Outlook in Nebraska
Projected Job Growth
Paralegals in Nebraska from 2016-20261
In May 2017, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 1,560 paralegals and legal assistants employed throughout Nebraska.2 The paralegal occupation is expected to undergo expansion as law firms and corporations seek to minimize the cost of legal services, expanding the paralegal role and driving an increase in the number of positions nationwide. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 15% employment growth for paralegals and legal assistants nationwide from 2016 to 2026.3 Even faster growth in paralegal jobs in Nebraska is expected during this time period, with an estimated growth rate of 20.7% for the profession.1 The projected growth rate is reflective of the trends referenced above and suggests that the job market for paralegals and legal assistants will continue to be favorable in the coming years.
Nebraska Paralegal Salary Outlook
The average Nebraska paralegal salary was reported at $46,490 in 2017.2 While this is lower than the national average paralegal salary of $53,910, the difference is likely due in part to the lower cost of living in Nebraska.2 In addition, those seeking work in urban areas can expect a higher average salary; paralegals in the Omaha area, for example, earn an average of $48,310.2 As the prominence of paralegals and legal assistants grows within the legal community, the average paralegal salary in Nebraska can be expected to increase proportionally. Favorable trends in employment opportunity and compensation growth suggest that the job and salary outlook for paralegals and legal assistants in Nebraska will continue to be positive throughout the coming years.
Nebraska Paralegal Salary Info By Metro Area
A quick look at paralegal salary in Nebraska by metro area:
|Metro Area||Number Employed||Average Annual Salary|
|Omaha-Council Bluffs NE-IA||960||$48,310|
|Sioux City IA-NE-SD||120||$43,250|
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2017.4
Paralegal Certification in Nebraska
In Nebraska, as in nearly all other US states, paralegals and legal assistants are categorized as paraprofessionals who are only permitted to complete law-related tasks under the supervision of a qualified attorney. State law does not include any requirements for Nebraska paralegal certification, nor are there education or training minimums for paralegals in the state. This permits law firms and corporations to provide on-site training. However, the majority of employers prefer candidates who have completed some formal training, such as that offered by Nebraska paralegal programs. There are numerous paralegal schools in Nebraska. The American Bar Association (ABA)has currently approved two of these Nebraska paralegal programs.
Though Nebraska paralegal certification is not a requirement, upon completion of a paralegal degree program individuals are encouraged to pursue national certification from an organization such as the National Associations of Legal Assistants (NALA) or the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA). These organizations offer certification and continuing education programs which are generally accepted in the legal community. Paralegal and legal assistants in the state are encouraged to refer to the Nebraska paralegal associations listed below for further information and opportunities.
Career Quick Start Tips — How to Become a Paralegal in Nebraska
As Nebraska paralegal certification is not required at the state level, there are several career paths that candidates can follow. Voluntary national certification is strongly recommended, which typically requires that candidates complete an education program at one of the paralegal schools in Nebraska. Experience, including internships completed while in school, can also add to candidates’ credentials. You can see typical requirements for paralegal jobs in Nebraska on our jobs board. Our guide Steps to Become a Paralegal provides more information on national certification options.
Paralegals play a central part in supporting their firms’ operations and can make a difference in the lives of their firms’ clients. Having access to the right resources when they are needed is an important skill for legal support professionals. The following career resources for Nebraska paralegals can help you become more competitive in the job market.
Nebraska Paralegal Career Books
- The Legal Research and Writing Handbook: A Basic Approach for Paralegals – Legal research and legal writing are two of the most fundamental skills for successful paralegals. This guidebook helps beginning paralegals understand the essentials of legal research and writing in an easy-to-follow format. The book’s organization also makes it a handy reference for more experienced paralegals.
- The Paralegal Ethics Handbook – Legal ethics provide important guidelines for the practice of law for both attorneys and paralegals. This guide is written specifically to provide tips and guidelines for ethical behavior for the practicing paralegal and includes many examples drawn from real-life situations.
- Davenport’s Nebraska Wills and Estate Planning Legal Forms – Updated annually to keep up with changes in state law, this guide to estate planning forms in Nebraska is essential for paralegals working in family law and related areas. Reviewed by attorneys, the ready-to-use estate planning forms in this volume will save paralegals valuable time drafting legal documents.
Paralegal Job Search Websites for Nebraska
- Nebraska Paralegal Association – Provides open listings of available Nebraska paralegal jobs from across the state.
- Nebraska State Bar Association Career Center – Another source for finding paralegal jobs in Nebraska.
- Paralegal411 jobs board – You can see additional Nebraska paralegal jobs on our jobs board.
Nebraska Court Info
- SupremeCourt.Nebraska.gov – The official website of the State of Nebraska Judicial Branch contains links to the state Supreme Court and Courts of Appeals, as well as information concerning the lower courts. Site visitors can access court forms and rules as well as e-filing systems and other useful information, including legal research resources.
Law Libraries in Nebraska
- Nebraska State Library – Located in Lincoln, the Nebraska State Library holds over 130,000 volumes, with thousands of titles relating to state and federal law. The library offers copies-by-mail services to members of the bar at a nominal charge. Bar association members in the Lincoln area may also apply for borrowing privileges.
- Creighton University School of Law Klutznick Law Library / McGrath North Mullin & Kratz Legal Research Center – Located on the Creighton University campus in Omaha, the Klutznick Law Library and McGrath North Mullin & Kratz Legal Research Center has a collection of over 390,000 print volumes, nearly 194,000 titles, and extensive electronic resources. In addition to Nebraska state law holdings, the library has large holdings in US and international law. Local attorneys may apply for borrowing privileges and request document delivery as well as interlibrary loans.
Paralegal Associations in Nebraska
- Nebraska Paralegal Association – An affiliate of the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA), the Nebraska Paralegal Association was formed in 1976 and today has over 200 active members. The association holds regular meetings and seminars in the Omaha and Lincoln metro areas to provide continuing education and networking opportunities. Membership categories include active, associate, student, and distance.
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, Nebraska: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ne.htm
5. American Bar Association: https://www.americanbar.org/groups/paralegals/paralegal-resource-directory/