State By State Requirements to Become a Lawyer

Paralegal Job Description in Mississippi

In 1980, paralegals and legal assistants working across the state of Mississippi founded the Mississippi Paralegal Association to promote the profession and to encourage professionalism and ethics in the profession. Today, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are 1630 paralegals and legal assistants working in Mississippi, making an annual average salary of $40,930. If you would like to join their ranks and become a paralegal in Mississippi, read on.
 

Step 1

Begin Paralegal Education in Mississippi

Education for paralegals in Mississippi is each aspiring paralegal’s choice, as there is no mandate for paralegal education in the state. While not required under the law, obtaining paralegal education in Mississippi is vital to attaining a good paralegal job.

Mississippi Paralegal Online and Campus School Programs

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Washington University School of Law - Online Master of Legal Studies (MLS) Degree
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Educational programs may or may not be accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA). Again, accreditation is not a must, but some employers in Mississippi prefer to hire graduates of accredited paralegal programs. Other prospective paralegals in Mississippi opt to study criminal justice, legal studies or related disciplines, obtaining an associate degree, bachelor degree or certificate.

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Step 2

Paralegal Work Experience in Mississippi

You may be required to complete a paralegal internship while fulfilling the requirements of your Mississippi paralegal education program. If you are not exposed to such a work experience, you should pursue one on your own. The following pro bono legal services in Mississippi often welcome the services of paralegal students on a paid or unpaid basis:

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Step 3

Paralegal Certification in Mississippi (Optional)

National certification through a paralegal or legal assistant organization is not a requirement in order to work as a paralegal in Mississippi. However, the Mississippi Paralegal Association recommends national certification through an organization such as the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) in order to further your career aspirations and advancement as a paralegal in Mississippi. The following certifications are available through NALA:

  • Certified Legal Assistant (CLA) (also known as Certified Paralegal, or CP): attainable through passing a two-day exam on:
    • Verbal/written communication skills
    • Ethics
    • Human relations
    • Judgment/analytical ability
    • Legal research
    • Legal terminology
    • Substantive law
  • Certified Legal Assistant Specialist (CLA Specialist) (also known as Advanced Paralegal Certification or APC): attainable for CLAs only through a four-hour exam in one of the following legal specialty areas:
    • Bankruptcy
    • Intellectual property
    • Real estate
    • Criminal law and procedure
    • Corporate and business law
    • Probate and estate planning
    • Civil litigation

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Step 4

Look for Paralegal Jobs in Mississippi

Once you have completed your education, experience and optional certification, you are ready to search for paralegal jobs in Mississippi. Do not limit your search to law groups, firms and private practice. Paralegals are also employed in many Mississippi businesses, corporations, government agencies, educational institutions, and nonprofit organizations, such as:

  • Mississippi Center for Justice – Jackson
  • Butler Snow LLP - Gulfport
  • National Guard – Canton
  • Corban, Gunn, Van Cleave- Hattiesburg
  • State of Mississippi – Jackson
  • Brunini, Grantham, Grower & Hewes, PLLC –Biloxi
  • Mitchell, McNutt & Sams, P.A. – Oxford
  • William B. Howell, Ltd. – Madison Count

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Step 5

You’ve Become a Paralegal in Mississippi

You have made it! You are now a paralegal working in the state of Mississippi! Think about joining an organization consisting of other paralegals, legal assistants and legal professionals such as the ones listed below. They can help you with your career advancement and provide valuable networking opportunities:

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