State By State Requirements to Become a Lawyer

Paralegal Job Description in Maryland

According to the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation’s Division of Workforce Development and Adult Learning, 1825 jobs for paralegals in Maryland are expected to become available between 2010 and 2020, including 845 jobs by replacement. This is good news for you if you wish to learn how to become a paralegal in Maryland.  The state has no standards on education, certification or experience for paralegals. However, Maryland employers of paralegals expect these legal professionals to be well trained and highly knowledgeable and skilled. The right type of education and experience will help you to enter the field of legal assistants and paralegals in Maryland. To discover how to become a part of this exciting career option in Maryland, read on.
 

Step 1

Complete Your Maryland Paralegal Education

Paralegals in Maryland are not required by law to hold post-secondary education. However, it is almost impossible to get a job as a paralegal in Maryland without some type of college degree. Paralegal programs in Maryland do not need to be approved by the ABA.

Maryland Paralegal Online and Campus Schools

Sponsored Listing

Featured Program

Washington University School of Law - Online Master of Legal Studies (MLS) Degree
Pepperdine School of Law - Online Master of Legal Studies Program

The following Maryland schools provide paralegal education programs approved by the American Bar Association and the Maryland Association of Paralegals (while paralegal programs need not be approved by the ABA, ABA approved programs are noted below):

  • University of Maryland, University College- Online program – Degrees available include:
    • Bachelor of Science – Legal Studies
  • Stevenson University- ABA approved - Stevenson and Owings Mills, MD – Degrees available include:
    • Bachelor of Science – Paralegal Studies
  • Prince George’s Community College – Largo, MD – Degrees available include:
    • Certificate – Paralegal /Legal Assistant
    • Associate of Applied Science – Paralegal/Legal Assistant
  • Montgomery College – Tacoma Park/Silver Spring, Germantown and Rockville, MD – Degrees available include:
    • Letter of Recognition – Legal Analysis
    • Certificate – Paralegal Studies
    • Associate of Applied Science – Paralegal Studies
  • Harford Community College-ABA approved -  Bel Air, MD – Degrees available include:
    • Certificate – Paralegal Studies
  • George Washington University- Washington, DC – Degrees available include:
    • Graduate Certificate – Paralegal Studies
    • Master’s Degree- Paralegal Studies
  • Frederick Community College- Frederick, MD – Degrees available include:
    • Certificate- Paralegal Studies
    • Associate of Applied Science – Paralegal Studies
  • College of Southern Maryland – Waldorf, Prince Frederick, Leonardtown and La Plata, MD- Degrees available include:
    • Associate of Applied Science – Paralegal Studies
  • Chesapeake College- Wye Mills, MD – Degrees available include:
    • Associate of Applied Science - Paralegal Studies
  • Community College of Baltimore County-ABA approved - Baltimore, MD – Degrees available include:
    • Certificate - Paralegal Studies
    • Associate of Applied Science - Paralegal Studies
  • Baltimore City Community College –Baltimore, MD – Degrees available include:
    • Associate of Applied Science - Legal Assistant
  • Anne Arundel Community College-  ABA approved - Arnold, MD – Degrees available include:
    • Associate of Applied Science - Litigation
    • Associate of Applied Science - General Practice
    • Associate of Applied Science - Business

Back to Top

Step 2

Gain Paralegal Work Experience in Maryland

Depending upon your paralegal studies college program in Maryland, you may have an internship built into the program. This can provide valuable experience for you working directly in the legal field in an assistant position. If not, you should search for a position as an entry-level paralegal (or junior paralegal as some law firms refer to them) or assistant-type job. Case assistants, legal assistants, legal administrative assistants, paralegal interns and paralegals are all term that entry-level paralegal jobs in Maryland may carry. Legal aid bureaus in Maryland may also hire paralegals who are seeking experience, at a slightly lower salary. Gaining a bit of experience can help in your further career plans, whether or not you plan to seek certification.

Back to Top

Step 3

Get Your Paralegal Certification in Maryland

Certification is voluntary for Maryland paralegals, but is highly recommended by the Maryland Association of Paralegals. Paralegal certification in Maryland indicates that you possess the greatest amount of knowledge and experience in the field. The Maryland Association of Paralegals recommends the following certifications offered by the National Federation of Paralegal Associations, Inc. (NFPA):

  • Paralegal Core Competency Exam (PCCE): This is the first level of certification offered by NFPA, designed for those just graduating from paralegal programs in Maryland and entering the workforce. It tests skills, abilities and knowledge through an examinations offered by Prometric Test Centers. If you pass this exam, you may use the designation Core Registered Paralegal (CRP). Test centers are located in:
    • Baltimore
    • Columbia
    • Landover
    • Towson
    • Bethesda
    • Salisbury
  • Paralegal Advanced Competency Exam (PACE): This advanced examination is for paralegals who already possess some combination of education and experience, as indicated below:
    • Associate degree in paralegal studies plus six years of experience
    • Bachelor degree in any field plus three years of experience
    • Master degree in any field plus two years of experience

Passing this examination allows you to use the designation Registered Paralegal (RP). It is offered at the Maryland Prometric Test Centers listed above.

Back to Top

Step 4

Find Paralegal Employment in Maryland

With degree and optional certification in hand, you are now ready to search for a paralegal job in Maryland. Some of the state’s largest law firms and other major employers of paralegals in Maryland include:

  • Legg Mason Global Asset Management– Baltimore
  • Legal Aid Bureau – Baltimore
  • Rosenberg & Associates – Bethesda
  • The Badaki Law Firm – Hagerstown
  • CYLA – Silver Spring
  • Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A. – Potomac
  • Pessin Katz Law, P.A. – Towson
  • Weinstock, Friedman & Friedman, P.A. – Baltimore
  • Johns Hopkins Health System Corporation – Baltimore
  • Inside Edge Legal – Havre de Grace
  • GCC Consulting – Towson
  • Cordell & Cordell, P.C. - Baltimore

Back to Top

Step 5

Now That You’re a Paralegal in Maryland

Congratulations! You have completed your education and optional certification, and have gained experience and are now a paralegal in Maryland! You might want to consider joining one of the following Maryland organizations that can provide you with continuing legal education (CLE) and networking opportunities:

Additionally, if you hold CRP or RP certification, you must maintain that credential through completing the necessary CLE and renewing your certification every other year.  Information on approved CLE programs may be found through the National Federation of Paralegal Associations, Inc. (NFPA) website.

Back to Top

 

General Resources

Law Exams

Lawyer Career Specialties

Recommend