State By State Requirements to Become a Lawyer

Paralegal Career Information in Washington

Washington is a unique state in which paralegals work, as they have more independence and autonomy there than in any other state. In Washington’s counties of Pierce, King and Spokane, for many ex-parte court matters that are time sensitive, paralegals are allowed to present court filings, instead of waiting for an attorney to do so. This makes becoming a paralegal in Washington a very attractive career option for students and those interested in the law.
 

Step 1

Paralegal Education in Washington

Washington does not require paralegals to complete any course of specialized education in order to work in the state. Because of the substantial nature of the law that paralegals work with, however, obtaining education in the field is highly desirable if you plan to become a paralegal in Washington.

Washington Paralegal Online and Campus Schools

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

Paralegal programs in Washington may be approved by the American Bar Association (ABA), but they do not have to be.
Paralegal programs in Washington with ABA approval are:

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Step 2

Paralegal Work Experience in Washington

If you feel you need additional paralegal work experience in Washington, or if your college program did not provide any, you might want to contact a legal aid organization like the following. They can always use the help of an aspiring Washington paralegal:

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Step 3

Certification as a Paralegal in Washington

Although paralegal certification in Washington is optional, the Washington State Paralegal Association recommends that paralegals who are interested in pursuing it do so through the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA). They offer two certifications, the PACE Registered Paralegal for entry-level paralegals; and the PCCE Core Registered Paralegal for experienced paralegals. Both are attainable through examination.

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Step 4

Obtain Paralegal Employment in Washington

Washington State is home to the headquarters of major corporations, many of which hire paralegals and legal assistants. Of course, law firms also employ paralegals in Washington. Recent employers of paralegals in Washington include:

  • State Farm – Seattle
  • Microsoft- Redmond
  • Weyerhauser – Federal Way
  • USI Holdings Corporation – Seattle
  • T-Mobile-Bellevue
  • Amazon Corporate LLC – Seattle
  • Inviso Corporation - Redmond
  • Federal Trade Commission – Seattle
  • Defoe Pickett Law Office - Kennewick
  • Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard & Smith, LLP- Seattle
  • Esterline – Bellevue
  • Fenwick & West LLP – Seattle
  • National Guard - Tacoma

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Step 5

Whats Next for Paralegals in Washington

Congratulations! You have become a paralegal in Washington! If you have not done so already, consider becoming a member of the Washington State Paralegal Association. This networking and advocacy organization for Washington paralegals can provide you with resources, continuing legal education opportunities, job opportunities and more.


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