New Hampshire Paralegal Career Guide
Our paralegal career guide will help you learn the answers to the most common questions about how to become a paralegal in New Hampshire. Here you will find information about New Hampshire paralegal salary and job outlook in addition to professional resources to help you plan your career in the paralegal field. Get started using the easy-to-navigate directory below.
Table of Contents:
- Paralegal Careers
- Job Outlook In New Hampshire
- Salary Outlook
- Paralegal Certification
- Career Quick Start Tips – How to Become a Paralegal in New Hampshire
- Additional Paralegal Resources
Law firms continue to be the primary employers of paralegals and legal assistants nationwide. Large firms in urban areas generally offer the greatest compensation and tend to allocate paralegals to subject-specific teams, providing opportunities for specialization. Sheehan Phinney PA is a large business law firm with offices across New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Like other large, multi-area practices, this firm is known to value technological competency and efficiency in paralegal staff while offering top-notch benefits, competitive compensation plans, and a positive work environment. Devine Millimet & Branch is another large New Hampshire firm specializing in a range of practice areas. The firm has offices in Manchester, Concord, and Portsmouth and holds a reputation for deploying innovate techniques.
Paralegals may also find employment at specialized or local firms. Another source for paralegal jobs in New Hampshire is corporations. Top companies in New Hampshire include C&S Wholesale Grocers, Standex International, and Anvil International. Government agencies at the local, state, and federal levels provide additional career opportunities for paralegals.
Job Outlook in New Hampshire
Projected Job Growth
Paralegals in New Hampshire from 2016-2026`
In May 2017 the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 1,100 paralegals and legal assistants working in New Hampshire.2 As law firms try to reduce the cost of providing legal counsel, certain tasks previously allocated to attorneys are expected to be delegated to paralegal support staff. This shift is expected to diversify the types of responsibilities given to paralegals and legal assistants, increasing the importance of their role in the legal system and driving the creation of more positions nationwide. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 15% employment growth for paralegals and legal assistants nationwide between 2016 and 2026.3 Positive growth is likewise projected for paralegal jobs in New Hampshire, at 13.8% over the same time period.1 This estimate is based on a total anticipated 160 new paralegal positions in the state from 2016 to 2026.1
New Hampshire Paralegal Salary Outlook
The average New Hampshire paralegal salary in 2017 was reported at $54,190, comparable to the national average paralegal salary of $53,910.2 Paralegals in Portsmouth earned higher average salaries, at $57,460.2 With the projected expansion of the profession, the relatively high salaries, and New Hampshire’s strategic position in the Northeast, prospective paralegals and legal assistants should encounter positive hiring and salary trends in the state throughout the next several years.
New Hampshire Paralegal Salary Info By Metro Area
A quick look at New Hampshire 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 New Hampshire
New Hampshire paralegal certification is not required to work as a paralegal in the state. Paralegals are classified as non-lawyer assistants who are permitted to perform law-related tasks only under the supervision of a qualified attorney. As the training and education of paralegals within the state is not regulated, employers offer in-house training programs in lieu of formal paralegal education. However, the majority of paralegal employers prefer candidates with some formal paralegal training, such as that earned through one of the paralegal schools in New Hampshire.
New Hampshire paralegal programs are offered throughout the state and include associate’s and bachelor’s degree options as well as certificate programs. Currently, the American Bar Association (ABA) has formally approved one New Hampshire paralegal program. Upon completion of a paralegal program, prospective paralegals and legal assistants are encouraged to seek national certification through a national paralegal association. The National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) and the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA) offer certification examinations and continuing education programs which can give paralegals a competitive career edge.
New Hampshire Certification
There are currently no state-specific New Hampshire paralegal certification programs. However, though national certification is optional for paralegals and legal assistants in New Hampshire, NALA and NFPA certifications are well respected within the legal community and have been generally accepted as a national standard of proficiency within the profession. For more information on national certification, see our guide Steps to Become a Paralegal. Prospective and active paralegals and legal assistants are also encouraged to seek guidance from the New Hampshire paralegal associations listed below, which provide information and opportunities to paralegals and legal assistants within the state.
Career Quick Start Tips — How to Become a Paralegal in New Hampshire
Since New Hampshire paralegal certification is not a requirement to begin a paralegal career in the state, candidates may take a variety of career paths. Some paralegals start out as legal secretaries or legal document preparers and work their way up the career ladder. However, most paralegals have received some formal training, such as that offered by the paralegal schools in New Hampshire and surrounding states. Formal paralegal education, national paralegal certification, and relevant work experience will continue to benefit candidates in the competition for open positions. You can gain a better understanding of the qualifications that New Hampshire paralegal jobs typically require on our jobs board.
Paralegals can make a positive difference for their firms and have an impact on the lives of their firms’ clients. Success as a paralegal is partly based on knowing where to access the right resources when they are needed. The following resources for New Hampshire paralegals can help you start your career on the right track.
New Hampshire Paralegal Career Books
The Law and Paralegal Student’s Guide to Legal Research and Writing – This text is a practical primer and helpful continuing reference on the nuances of legal research and writing for paralegals. The text encourages analysis of legal research needs and strategies to build efficiency into the research process and also provides useful guidance for ensuring quality legal writing.
Business Organizations for Paralegals – Written for paralegals looking to join business and corporate legal teams, this text covers all major types of business organizations and the legal issues impacting each. The text is regularly updated and includes analysis of business formation, operation, dissolution, and tax liabilities for all forms of incorporation.
New Hampshire Trust Laws: Statutes and Commentary – Written by trust attorney Todd Mayo, this up-to-date guide to trust laws in New Hampshire is an essential reference for family law paralegals. The text discusses historical and current issues in trust establishment and administration in the state with helpful practice tips specific to New Hampshire law.
Paralegal Job Search Websites for New Hampshire
The New Hampshire Bar Association maintains a page of classified ads that includes many paralegal jobs in New Hampshire. You can find additional New Hampshire paralegal jobs on the Paralegal411 jobs board.
New Hampshire Court Info
Courts.State.NH.us – The New Hampshire Judicial Branch homepage provides links to all courts within the state, as well as access to court forms and e-filing systems. Links are also provided for court rules and mediation and arbitration services. Legal professionals will find the Judicial Branch’s collection of electronic services helpful for legal research.
Law Libraries in New Hampshire
The John W. King New Hampshire Law Library – The John W. King New Hampshire Law Library is located in Concord. This library is the only public law library in the state and as a result does not allow circulation of materials, though visitors are welcome to perform on-site research using the library’s 94,000 print volumes and numerous electronic resources.
University of New Hampshire School of Law Library – The University of New Hampshire School of Law Library is a private law library and is not open to the general public. However, an Attorney Membership program is offered that allows licensed attorneys and paralegals to access the library’s collections, which comprise over 318,000 volumes and volume equivalents.
Paralegal Associations in New Hampshire
Paralegal Association of New Hampshire – The Paralegal Association of New Hampshire is an affiliate of the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA) and has been serving area paralegals for over 30 years. The organization offers benefits such as networking and professional development opportunities as well as scholarships and volunteer service events. Annual dues are $65 for voting members, $55 for associate members, and $40 for student members.
1. Projections Central: https://www.projectionscentral.org/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, New Hampshire: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nh.htm
5. American Bar Association: https://www.americanbar.org/groups/paralegals/paralegal-resource-directory/