Steps to Become a Paralegal in Vermont
Follow the step by step process on how to become a paralegal below:
- Start Your Paralegal Education in Vermont
- Build Upon Paralegal Work Experience in Vermont
- Become Certified as a Vermont Paralegal, If Desired
- Seek Paralegal Jobs in Vermont
- Now That You Have Become a Paralegal in Vermont
Paralegal Job Description in Vermont
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that in May 2022, paralegals and legal assistants working in Vermont made an average median wage of $60,560 per year. Paralegals earning in Vermont’s 75th percentile averaged $65,190; while those earning in Vermont’s 90th percentile averaged $74,930. Considering Vermont does not place any restrictions or regulations on paralegals at this time, these average annual salaries are quite favorable. Read on to learn how you can become a paralegal in Vermont.
Start Your Paralegal Education in Vermont
The American Bar Association (ABA) may approve paralegal programs, but this is not a requirement. Currently, there are no ABA-approved paralegal programs in Vermont. These paralegal programs are available in Vermont:
Vermont Paralegal Online and Campus Schools
Although the state of Vermont does not require any specific paralegal education for persons who wish to become paralegals in the state, the Vermont Bar Association (VBA) has adopted standards for paralegals who wish to become associate members of the VBA. These standards are being accepted as educational and experiential standards for paralegals in Vermont. The following educational criteria have been set forth for paralegals desiring associate membership in the VBA:
- Hold a bachelor degree and complete a paralegal educational program as well as six months of on-the-job paralegal training, OR
- Hold an associate degree and complete a paralegal educational program, as well as one year of on-the-job paralegal training, OR
- Hold an associate degree in paralegal studies and one year of on-the-job paralegal training, OR
- Hold a bachelor degree in any field and one year of on-the-job paralegal training, OR
- Hold an associate degree in any field and two years of on-the-job paralegal training, OR
- Hold a high school diploma and complete a paralegal education program plus two years of on-the-job paralegal training, OR
- Hold a high school diploma and four years of on-the-job paralegal training
Build Paralegal Work Experience in Vermont
Your paralegal studies program may provide you with the great opportunity of experiencing the daily work life of a paralegal first-hand, through an externship or internship. If it does not or if you desire more experience than what college provides, seek out one of the following legal aid or pro bono agencies and ask if you can help them. The experience you receive will be invaluable:
- Vermont Legal Aid– offices in Burlington, Springfield, St. Johnsbury, Rutland, and Montpelier
- Vermont Law Help– Burlington
- Law Line of Vermont – Burlington
- Vermont Volunteer Lawyers Project – Burlington
Certified as a Vermont Paralegal, If Desired
National certification is not required of Vermont paralegals. The Vermont Paralegal Association does recommend certification through the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA) if you so desire. This organization offers two certification- the PACE Registered Paralegal and the PCCE Core Registered Paralegal. Both are attainable through examination.
VPA also recommends certification through the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA). They provide two certifications, Certified Paralegal (CP) and Advanced Paralegal Certified (APC) attainable through examination.
Seek Paralegal Jobs in Vermont
Law firms, both large and small, employ paralegals in Vermont, as do small and large corporations, non-profit organizations, government agencies and more. Recently, the following employers advertised open positions for legal assistants or paralegals in Vermont:
- State of Vermont – Springfield
- Gravel & Shea, Attorneys at Law – Burlington
- National Life Group – Montpelier
- Kirkpatrick & Goldsborough, PLLC – Burlington
- Northern Power Systems – Barre
- The Vermont Country Store – Manchester
- Dinse, Knapp & McAndrew, PC- Burlington
You Have Become a Paralegal in Vermont
Kudos to you! Your hard work and years of discipline have been rewarded with a job as a paralegal in the Green Mountain State! Think about becoming a member of the Vermont Paralegal Organization, which can help you in networking, finding advancement opportunities in your career, continuing legal education, and more. If you qualify, seek associate membership with the Vermont Bar Association Paralegal Associate Membership. This will look great on your resume and make you more attractive to potential employers in Vermont.
2022 US Bureau of Labor Statistics salary and employment figures for Paralegals and Legal Assistants reflect national data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed April 2023.