State By State Requirements to Become a Lawyer
West Virginia

Paralegal Education Requirements in West Virginia

Follow the step by step process on how to become a paralegal below:

  1. Undertake Paralegal Education in West Virginia
  2. Obtain Paralegal Work Experience in West Virginia
  3. Become a Certified Paralegal in West Virginia, if Desired
  4. Land a Paralegal Job in West Virginia
  5. Now That You’re a Paralegal in West Virginia

Paralegal Career Information in West Virginia

WORKFORCE West Virginia predicts that between 2010 and 2020, jobs for paralegals and legal assistants in the state will increase by 62 each year, or at a rate of 1.34 annually. This is great news for anyone wishing to learn how to become a paralegal in West Virginia. Legal assistants and paralegals in West Virginia currently average a yearly salary of $39,990, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States Department of Labor. This salary will surely increase over the next decade as the demand for paralegals in West Virginia increases as well.
 

Step 1

Undertake Paralegal Education in West Virginia

West Virginia has yet to mandate education for paralegals. The West Virginia Legislature proposed in 2010 a bill entitled the “Certified Legal Assistant Act,” which would set educational and other standards for paralegals in West Virginia. Although the bill did not pass, some employers in the state are using its criteria when making hiring decisions for paralegals and legal assistants in West Virginia. In order to qualify for Certified Legal Assistant status under this bill, you must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Graduate from an American Bar Association (ABA) approved paralegal program
  • Graduate from a non-ABA-approved paralegal program at an accredited institution, consisting of 60 semester hours of study
  • Graduate from another paralegal program and have six months of on-the-job paralegal training
  • Pass a certification exam given by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) to become a Certified Paralegal (CP) (See step 3 below)
  • Show though life experience and employment that you should be given the title of Certified Legal Assistant in West Virginia

West Virginia Paralegal Online and Campus Schools

There is currently one ABA-approved West Virginia paralegal program:

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Step 2

Obtain Paralegal Work Experience in West Virginia

If you need to accrue more paralegal work experience than what your paralegal education program in West Virginia offers, you might want to contact a Legal Aid or Legal Assistance agency. These agencies work with low income West Virginians who are in need of legal help, and often welcome the assistance of a paralegal student or aspiring paralegal. They include:

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Step 3

Become a Certified Paralegal in West Virginia, if Desired

As mentioned in Step 1 above, one way to fulfill the proposed paralegal standards of the West Virginia Legislature is to become a Certified Paralegal through the National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc. (NALA). This involves passing an examination that will test your knowledge of substantive legal issues, the American legal system, civil law, contracts, business organizations, legal research, ethics, communications and your judgment and analytical ability. Passing this national exam allows you to use the credentials CP (Certified Paralegal).

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Step 4

Land a Paralegal Job in West Virginia

Paralegals find jobs in West Virginia corporations, businesses, educational institutions, law firms, nonprofit organizations, government agencies and more. Some paralegal employers in West Virginia include:

  • Steptoe & Johnson, PLLC – Morgantown
  • Manchin Injury Law Group, PLLC- Fairmont
  • Shuman, McCuskey and Slicer, PLLC – Charleston
  • State of West Virginia- Kanawha County
  • Dinsmore & Shohl – Westover
  • Bowles Rice LLP – Morgantown
  • WesBanco Bank, Inc. – West Side
  • Genesis HealthCare –Marlinton
  • Donaldson & James - Core

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Step 5

Now That You’re a Paralegal in West Virginia

Kudos to you! You have studied hard, worked hard and this dedication and hard work has been rewarded with a paralegal job in West Virginia! Now, you should think about joining a membership organization consisting of paralegals and/or other legal professionals in West Virginia, such as:


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