New Hampshire Paralegal Career and Salary 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. Like most other states, New Hampshire does not regulate the profession of legal assistants and paralegals, so there are many possible career paths for prospective paralegals in the state. On this page, 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
- How to Become a Paralegal in New Hampshire
- Paralegal Certification
- Paralegal Career and Salary Outlook
- Paralegal Resources
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. Most paralegals receive some formal training. Some start out as legal secretaries or legal document preparers and work their way up the career ladder. A combination of formal paralegal education, relevant work experience, and national paralegal certification will continue to benefit candidates in the competition for open positions.
1. Earn a degree or certificate in paralegal studies.
The most common first step is pursuing a certificate or associate’s degree from one of the paralegal schools in New Hampshire. Paralegal studies programs provide a foundational understanding of the legal system and various areas of the law where paralegals may practice, such as litigation; contracts and torts; and legal research. There is currently one paralegal school approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) in New Hampshire.1
2. Gain experience.
Gaining experience through internships, externships, co-op placements, or job shadowing can help you land your first job after completing paralegal studies. Employers often prefer candidates who have demonstrated skills in the legal field rather than those who require extensive training. Look for work experience programs available through your school or through paralegal employers.
3. Seek certification, if desired.
Upon completion of a paralegal program, prospective paralegals and legal assistants are encouraged to seek voluntary certification through a national paralegal association. Certification can give a competitive edge in job searching. It is available at the national level for those interested in New Hampshire.
Paralegal Certification in New Hampshire
New Hampshire paralegal certification is not required to work as a paralegal in the state. According to New Hampshire law, paralegals are classified as non-lawyer assistants who are permitted to perform law-related tasks only under the supervision of a qualified attorney. Voluntary certification, such as that offered by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA, the Paralegal Association), the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA), and the American Alliance of Paralegals, Inc. (AAPI), are available to candidates with a paralegal studies degree or certificate. For more information on how to earn voluntary paralegal certification, see our guide on becoming a paralegal.
offer certification examinations and continuing education programs which can give paralegals a competitive career edge.
New Hampshire Paralegal Career and Salary Outlook
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 is a large business law firm based in New Hampshire with offices in Massachusetts and Vermont. Like other large, multi-area practices, this firm works with clients in a variety of industries, such as construction, hospitality, and technology. Devine & Millimet is another large New Hampshire firm specializing in a range of practice areas. The firm is based in Manchester, with additional offices in Concord, Portsmouth, and Burlington, Vermont.
Paralegals may also find employment at one of the many corporations based in New Hampshire. Top companies in New Hampshire include BAE Systems, Granite Health, and, GE Aviation. Government agencies at the local, state, and federal levels provide additional career opportunities for paralegals and may provide a slightly different experience compared to larger firms and corporations.
LinkedIn is a good research resource where you can search on geography (New Hampshire or city-level) for “paralegal” to find networking opportunities and also companies most associated with users identifying as paralegals; companies in New Hampshire with the most LinkedIn users as paralegals include:
- Devine Millimet | Attorneys at Law
- Fidelity Investments
- Liberty Mutual Insurance
- McLane Middleton, Professional Association
- Shaheen & Gordon, P.A.
- Southern New Hampshire University
- State of New Hampshire
- University of New Hampshire
For more information about paralegal careers, take a look at our careers page.
New Hampshire Paralegal Salary Information
Projected Job Growth
Paralegals in New Hampshire from 2018-20282
In May 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported 1,120 paralegals and legal assistants working in New Hampshire.3 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. Projections Central estimates 12.7% growth in New Hampshire between 2018 and 2028, which is on par with the 12% growth expected for the profession nationwide during the same time period.2 This estimate is based on 150 anticipated new paralegal positions in the state from 2018 to 2028 and 150 average annual openings.2
The average New Hampshire paralegal salary in 2020 was reported at $56,590, which is almost identical to the national average paralegal salary of $56,610.3 However, many paralegals in New Hampshire work in the Boston metro area that includes part of the state, where the average annual salary is $64,220.3 New Hampshire also has some of the highest employment for paralegals outside metropolitan areas, with 300 paralegals employed in the Central New Hampshire nonmetropolitan area.3 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. Estimates are based on national data, not school-specific information; data accessed in December 2021.
New Hampshire Paralegal Salary by Metro Area
|Metro Area||Number Employed4||Average Annual Salary4|
Paralegal Associations in New Hampshire
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.
- New Hampshire Bar Association (NHBA): Provides resources for those working in legal professions and maintains a page of classified ads that includes many paralegal jobs in New Hampshire.
- Paralegal Association of New Hampshire (PANH): Offers membership benefits such as networking and professional development opportunities as well as scholarships and volunteer service events.
- New Hampshire Judicial Branch: Provides links to all courts within the state, as well as access to court forms, e-filing systems, court rules, and mediation and arbitration services.
- The John W. King New Hampshire Law Library: Provides public access to legal materials on-site and numerous digital guides to assist with legal research.
- Paralegal411 Job Board: To look for paralegal openings in New Hampshire, visit our jobs board.
- University of New Hampshire School of Law Library: Allows licensed attorneys and paralegals to access the library’s collections; the Intellectual Property Library; and the Patent and Trademark Resource Center.
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