Utah Paralegal Career Guide
Welcome to our guide to exploring a career as a paralegal in Utah. On this page you will find Utah paralegal salary information, job outlook, career resources, and answers to the most common questions about how to become a paralegal in Utah. Start your career journey with the easy to navigate directory below.
Table of Contents:
- Paralegal Careers
- Job Outlook in Utah
- Salary Outlook
- Salary by Metro Area
- Paralegal Certification
- Certification in Utah
- Career Quick Start Tips – How to Become a Paralegal in Utah
- Additional Paralegal Resources
- Utah Paralegal Career Books
- Paralegal Job Search Websites
- Utah State Court Info
- Law Libraries in Utah
- Paralegal Associations in Utah
The majority of paralegals work in law firms, which generally require the greatest degree of paralegal support. Utah hosts several large law firms including Ballard Spahr LLP and Clyde, Snow & Sessions. Ballard Spahr is a national full-service law firm with a sizable office in Salt Lake City. The firm’s diverse practice areas use paralegal support staff on subject-based teams, allowing paralegals the opportunity to specialize. Clyde, Snow & Sessions is a premier law firm headquartered in Salt Lake City that practices in virtually all areas of law, with particular focus areas in water law, domestic relations, litigation, white collar criminal defense, and corporate law.
Corporations, government agencies, insurance groups, and banks are also sources of paralegal jobs in Utah. Utah hosts several large companies including Huntsman Corporation, Novell, and Browning Arms Company. Paralegals and legal assistants are encouraged to inquire about positions outside traditional legal environments and seek opportunities in internal legal departments at companies such as these, which may provide a slightly different professional experience outside the law firm setting.
Job Outlook in Utah
Projected Job Growth
Paralegals in Utah from 2012-20221
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, shifts from attorney labor to less expensive paralegal labor are expected to improve employment prospects for paralegals and legal assistants as law offices and corporations seek to reduce expenses. Based on these trends, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted a 17% increase in jobs for paralegals and legal assistants nationwide from 2012 to 2022.2 This projected growth is significantly higher than both the average projected occupational growth across all US occupations and the average occupational growth for all law-related professions within the US.2 The Utah Department of Workforce Services has projected even stronger job growth for paralegals over the same period, at 23.8% within the state.1 Current predictions call for an average of 90 annual openings for paralegal jobs in Utah, with the majority of these positions anticipated from growth as opposed to replacements.1
Utah Paralegal Salary Outlook
In May 2014 the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 2,500 paralegals and legal assistants working in the state of Utah, a significant increase over the May 2012 report of 1,920 paralegals and legal assistants employed in the state.3 The average annual paralegal salary in Utah was reported at $42,510 in May 2014.3 As the cost of living in Utah tends to be lower than the US average, this may be comparable to the national average paralegal salary of $48,350.4 As the role of paralegals expands and new paralegal jobs in Utah are added, salaries should also increase, with the strongest increases likely to occur in urban areas.
Utah Paralegal Salary Info By Metro Area
A quick look at paralegal salary in Utah by metro area:
|Metro Area||Number Employed||Average Annual Salary|
|Salt Lake City||1,950||$43,360|
Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2014.
Paralegal Certification in Utah
Utah state law does not currently include any minimum education or training standards for paralegals within the state and does not require Utah paralegal certification. Thus, paralegals and legal assistants may be hired and trained on-site. However, paralegal employers have shown a strong preference for candidates who have completed one of the available Utah paralegal programs or a paralegal degree program in another state. The American Bar Association (ABA) has approved two paralegal programs in Utah. Programs that have not been approved by the ABA are also offered at various paralegal schools in Utah. Typical Utah paralegal programs include general education courses as well as courses focusing on practical legal skills. After completion of a paralegal degree program, paralegals and legal assistants are encouraged to pursue national certification through an organization such as the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) or the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA).
Although Utah paralegal certification is not a requirement to work as a paralegal in the state, voluntary national certification is encouraged. The voluntary certification examinations offered by NALA and the NFPA are generally recognized as setting a standard for professional competency. These organizations also offer continuing education programs for certified paralegals wishing to pursue career advancement. You can find more information about paralegal certification and education through the Utah paralegal associations listed below. You can also learn more about national certification on our guide Steps to Become a Paralegal.
Career Quick Start Tips — How to Become a Paralegal in Utah
Since there are no requirements for Utah paralegal certification at the state level, prospective paralegals can enter the field through a variety of paths. Most paralegals have a combination of education and experience, which may be earned through one of the paralegal schools in Utah. Other paralegals may begin their careers as legal document preparers or legal secretaries and advance to paralegal positions. To gain a better understanding of the credentials that paralegal jobs in Utah typically require, check out the Paralegal411 jobs board.
Paralegals provide invaluable support for their firms and for their firms’ clients. A large part of success as a paralegal is based on having the right resources at the right time. The following Utah paralegal career resources can help you become more competitive in your career.
Utah Paralegal Career Books
- Utah Legal Research – The first legal research guide written specifically for Utah, this text covers legislative, judicial, and administrative law as well as practice materials and tips. In addition to print sources of law, full coverage is given to current electronic sources. Appendices for secondary legal sources are also provided.
- Utah Notary Law Primer – Paralegals are commonly asked to perform notary acts in order to increase efficiency in the modern law office. Published by the National Notary Association, this text provides a comprehensive overview of notary law in Utah. Also provided are helpful practice tips and example wordings for commonly used notary acts.
- Utah Family Law – Now updated through 2015, this guide to Utah family law is essential for paralegals working for attorneys in this practice area. Statutes governing family law are organized by topic to help professionals find quick answers to common questions. Also included are commentaries, annotations, and practice tips, as well as discussion of relevant cases and sources for further research.
Paralegal Job Search Websites for Utah
- The State of Utah – Maintains a database of employment opportunities that includes Utah paralegal jobs in government agencies across the state.
- Utah State Bar – Its career center is another source of paralegal jobs in Utah.
- Paralegal411 jobs board. – For even more Utah paralegal jobs, be sure to visit our jobs board.
Utah Court Info
- UTCourts.gov – The home portal for all courts in the state judiciary, UTCourts.gov provides a wealth of resources including links to individual court sections, court dockets, and e-records and e-filing systems. Visitors can also search court cases and opinions and access the most current court forms and rules.
Law Libraries in Utah
- Utah State Law Library – Located in Salt Lake City, the Utah State Law Library holds over 58,000 print volumes in addition to its electronic resources. The collections focus on state law, though the library also holds a strong collection of federal law and is a federal government depository. As the library is a research facility circulation of materials is generally not permitted, though visitors are welcome to perform on-site research.
- University of Utah James E. Faust Law Library – The James E. Faust Law Library is located on the main campus of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. In addition to broad collections of state and national law, the library also holds numerous volumes on international law as well as collections of various law reviews. The library offers checkout privileges to members of the bar and their authorized employees.
Paralegal Associations in Utah
- Paralegal Division of the Utah State Bar – The Paralegal Division of the Utah State Bar has been an active part of the state bar association since its creation in 1996. Membership in the division is open to those currently working as paralegals in the state of Utah. Annual dues for membership are $75. Renewing members must demonstrate at least 10 hours of continuing legal education.
- Rocky Mountain Paralegal Association – The Rocky Mountain Paralegal Association serves paralegals throughout Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. The association is an affiliate of the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA) and has an active calendar of events including continuing education and networking opportunities. Annual dues are $85 for voting members, $80 for associate members, and $45 for student members.
- Utah Paralegal Association – Founded in 1981, the Utah Paralegal Association seeks to promote the paralegal profession and advance employment opportunities for paralegals. The association is an affiliate of the National Association of Legal Assistants/Paralegals (NALA). Annual dues are $55 for active members, $35 for associate members, and $20 for student members.
1. Utah Department of Workforce Services: https://jobs.utah.gov/wi/pubs/outlooks/state/index.html
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, Utah: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ut.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/