Vermont Paralegal Career Guide
Our guide helps those interested in starting a career as a paralegal learn how to become a paralegal in Vermont. On this page, you will find information on Vermont paralegal salary, job outlook, career resources, and more to help you start a career in the legal field. Find the answers to your questions about how to become a paralegal in Vermont using the directory below.
Table of Contents:
- Paralegal Careers
- Job Outlook in Vermont
- Salary Outlook
- Paralegal Certification
- Career Quick Start Tips – How to Become a Paralegal in Vermont
- Additional Paralegal Resources
Though corporations, government agencies, and insurance groups are expanding paralegal employment, private law firms remain the primary source of paralegal jobs in Vermont and nationwide. Paralegals and legal assistants wishing to specialize in a particular practice area should look for positions in specialized firms or in large firms with subject-specific teams, which tend to allocate support staff based on legal practice area. Vermont hosts several prominent law firms including Dinse, Knapp & McAndrew PC, based in Burlington. With a range of practice areas and over 30 qualified attorneys, Dinse, Knapp, McAndrew PC is one of the most reputable firms serving Vermont and upstate New York. With five satellite offices and several international clients, Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC has greatly expanded from its Vermont base. This successful firm operates in several different areas of law and has been celebrated for its competitive compensation and positive work environment.
Corporations may offer promising Vermont paralegal jobs for those interested in business-related practice fields. Vermont hosts several large companies including Ben & Jerry’s, BioTek Instruments, Inc., Burton Snowboards, and Vertek Corporation. Government agencies at the local, state, and federal levels can also be a good source for finding Vermont paralegal jobs.
Job Outlook in Vermont
Projected Job Growth
Paralegals in Vermont from 2016-20261
In May 2017, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 670 paralegals and legal assistants employed throughout Vermont.2 As law firms and corporations work to minimize the expense of providing and accessing legal services, an increase in paralegal and legal assistant employment is projected. Paralegals are additionally expected to take on certain tasks previously allocated to attorneys, thus diversifying the role of paralegals in the workplace. Consistent with these overarching trends, paralegal and legal assistant employment is expected to increase by 15% nationwide from 2016 to 2026 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.3 Positive growth for paralegal jobs in Vermont is also projected, at 8.4% over the same time period.1
Vermont Paralegal Salary Outlook
The average paralegal salary in Vermont was reported at $51,610 in 2017.3 This average Vermont paralegal salary is comparable to the national median wage for paralegals at $53,910.2 Areas that have higher concentrations of paralegal employers or a higher cost of living may provide higher average salaries. The average paralegal salary in Northern Vermont, for example, was $58,320 as of May 2017.4
Vermont Paralegal Salary Info By Metro Area
A look at paralegal salary in Vermont by metro area:
|Metro Area||Number Employed||Average Annual Salary|
|Northern Vermont Nonmetropolitan Area||150||$58,320|
|Southern Vermont Nonmetropolitan Area||190||$49,570|
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2017.4
Paralegal Certification in Vermont
There are currently no requirements for Vermont paralegal certification. Paralegals may obtain training through a variety of avenues and are permitted to perform law-related tasks under the direct supervision of a qualified attorney. Though there are no minimum training or education requirements for paralegals and legal assistants within the state, employers have demonstrated a strong preference for candidates with formal paralegal education, such as that earned at one of the paralegal schools in Vermont.
The American Bar Association has not currently approved any paralegal schools in Vermont, but the available Vermont paralegal programs offer various degree and certificate options. Individuals wishing to increase their competitiveness are encouraged to seek optional paralegal certification through a national organization such as the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) or the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA). These organizations offer voluntary certification programs designed to encourage professional excellence for paralegals and legal assistants nationwide.
Since there are no state-level requirements for Vermont paralegal certification, legal professionals in the state may follow many different career paths. Most paralegals have completed training at one of the Vermont paralegal programs. Paralegal curriculums generally encompass fundamental principles and procedures of law, critical thinking skills, and formal legal writing. Other prospective paralegals may begin their careers as legal secretaries or legal document preparers and advance to the paralegal position. In either case, formal training and voluntary certification are both recommended. You can learn more about national certification through our guide Steps to Become a Paralegal. You can also gain a better understanding of the typical qualifications sought by employers on our jobs board.
Career Quick Start Tips — How to Become a Paralegal in Vermont
The job outlook for paralegals in Vermont is bright, especially for those with formal education in paralegal studies. In-school internships and entry-level work experience can also increase candidates’ competitiveness for available Vermont paralegal jobs. National certification is another highly desirable credential in the eyes of employers which can help candidates in a crowded job market. Prospective paralegals are encouraged to contact the Vermont paralegal associations listed below for additional information concerning education and employment opportunities in the state.
As a paralegal, you will play an important role in supporting the success of your firm and will be positioned to make a difference in the lives of your firm’s clients. Part of a paralegal’s success is based on having the right resources at the right time. The following Vermont paralegal resources can help you become more competitive in your career.
Vermont Paralegal Career Books
- The Paralegal Ethics Handbook – Ethics are an important aspect of legal practice for paralegals and attorneys alike. This guide to ethics focuses on theory and practice from the paralegal point of view, using real-world and hypothetical situations to underscore major points. The text also covers ethical viewpoints for paralegals working in a variety of industries, from government agencies to freelance work.
- Fundamentals of Law for Paralegals – Though paralegals are not required to understand the theory of law to the same degree as attorneys, understanding the fundamentals is what sets successful paralegals apart from the crowd. This guide covers major aspects of legal theory and practice including federal and state court processes, the law of torts, and contract law.
Paralegal Job Search Websites for Vermont
- Vermont Bar Association Job Center – Often posts opportunities for paralegal jobs in Vermont.
- Vermont Paralegal Organization Job Bank – A source for finding paralegal jobs in Vermont.
- Paralegal411 jobs board – You can find additional opportunities on our Jobs Board.
Vermont Court Info
- VermontJudiciary.org – The State of Vermont Judiciary maintains this one-stop website for all courts within the state. Visitors can access court information, forms, and rules as well as e-filing systems. Also provided are helpful legal research tools.
Law Libraries in Vermont
- Vermont State Library – Although the Vermont State Law Library in Montpelier is on indefinite hiatus, Vermonters may still access legal research materials through the state library system. Users can access a wealth of state law materials online and may request print resources through the online catalog.
- Vermont Law Julien and Virginia Cornell Library – The Vermont Law Julien and Virginia Cornell Library houses over 400,000 volumes in addition to digital collections and specialized research databases. The library is located in South Royalton and currently restricts use of materials to those with demonstrated need, although the library has received a grant for providing legal assistance to the general public in light of the State Law Library’s closure.
Paralegal Associations in Vermont
- Vermont Paralegal Organization – The Vermont Paralegal Organization was founded in 1990 and is an affiliate of the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA). Members receive opportunities for networking, continuing education, and co-membership in the NFPA as well as a streamlined membership application process with the Vermont Bar Association and American Bar Association. Annual dues are $75 for voting members, $45 for associate members, and $35 for student members.
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, Vermont: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_vt.htm
5. American Bar Association: https://www.americanbar.org/groups/paralegals/paralegal-resource-directory/