Delaware

Steps Toward a Paralegal Career in Delaware

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

  1. Complete Paralegal Education in Delaware
  2. Get Paralegal Work Experience in Delaware
  3. Become A Delaware Certified Paralegal (Optional)
  4. Launch Your Career as a Paralegal in Delaware
  5. Now That You’ve Become a Paralegal in Delaware

Paralegal Job Description in Delaware

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) of the U.S. Department of Labor noted in 2010 that paralegals and legal assistants comprised half of all legal jobs in Delaware. As of 2012, there were 1340 paralegals working in Delaware, making an annual mean wage of $51,910. Delaware had the second-highest concentration of paralegal jobs of any state in the nation, at 3.31 paralegals for every thousand jobs.  (with the exception of the District of Columbia). If you would like to discover how to become a paralegal in Delaware, read below.

Step 1

Complete Paralegal Education in Delaware

Although Delaware imposes no mandates on paralegal education for aspiring paralegals in the state, acquiring the right type of education can help you immensely as you embark upon your career. You may opt to attend a certificate or degree paralegal education program in Delaware.

Delaware Paralegal Online and Campus Schools

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Some paralegal programs in Delaware are accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) while others are not. ABA accreditation is not necessary in order to become a paralegal in Delaware. Regardless of accreditation status, the courses you will likely find in a Delaware paralegal program include:

  • Introduction to Law
  • Legal Research
  • Business Organizations
  • Computers and the Law
  • Civil Practice
  • Wills and Trusts
  • Ethics as a Paralegal

The following Delaware paralegal education programs currently hold ABA accreditation:

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Step 2

Get Paralegal Work Experience in Delaware

Your paralegal education program might provide you with the opportunity to gain work experience through a practicum. If it does not, consider pursuing volunteer work experiences as a paralegal to increase your chances of being hired after graduation. Examples of places in Delaware in which you might find volunteer opportunities to do paralegal work include:

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Step 3

Become A Delaware Certified Paralegal (Optional)

In 2005, the Board of Directors of the Delaware Paralegal Association created the Delaware Certified Paralegal (DCP) Program. This program is designed for paralegals who wish to prove to employers that they have the highest level of education and professionalism. While the program is optional, some Delaware employers of paralegals will hire DCPs over non-certified paralegals. The criteria for the DCP program include:

  • Be a full member of the Delaware Paralegal Association
  • Meet one of the following five criteria:
    • Have a bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies or a bachelor’s degree in any subject and a certificate from a paralegal program approved by the ABA, along with a year of paralegal experience
    • Have a bachelor’s degree in any subject and two years of paralegal experience
    • Have an associate degree in paralegal studies or a certificate from a paralegal program approved by the ABA and three years of paralegal experience
    • Have an associate degree in any subject or a certificate from a paralegal program not approved by the ABA and four years of paralegal experience
    • Have five years of paralegal experience

If you meet these criteria, you may apply for DCP with the Delaware Paralegal Association. Your application will be reviewed and if sufficient, you will be issued a certificate within 30 days.

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Step 4

Launch Your Career as a Paralegal in Delaware

Now that you have completed your paralegal education, gained some experience, and possibly have DCP certification, you are ready to launch your career as a paralegal in Delaware. Don’t limit yourself to searching the major law firms in the state for jobs, as corporations, non-profit organizations, and other agencies may have paralegal opportunities available. Potential employers of paralegals in Delaware include:

  • JPMorgan Chase – Newark
  • InterDigital – Wilmington
  • Mattleman, Weinroth & Miller, PC – Newark
  • Bayhealth Medical Center- Dover
  • VF Corporation – Wilmington
  • CitiCorp-New Castle
  • Coleman Nourian – Wilmington
  • Morris James LLP – Newark
  • Morris Nichols – Wilmington
  • Rahaim & Saints, LLP – Newark

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Step 5

You’ve Become a Paralegal in Delaware

Congratulations! Your hard work and discipline have paid off, and you are now a paralegal in Delaware! If you hold DCP certification, you must maintain that credential by submitting eight hours of continuing legal education (CLE) every two years. One of these hours must be in ethics. Classes must be in substantive law or skills relating to the paralegal career, such as management, computer, or research.

You should consider joining an optional membership organization for paralegals. Such organizations can provide you with CLE opportunities, networking, and career advancement. In Delaware, choices include:

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