Become a Paralegal in Montana

Find Paralegal Programs

If you answer a few quick questions, we'll show you paralegal programs that are actively recruiting students with your educational background and location.

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that only 790 paralegals and legal assistants worked in Montana in 2012, but also projected an 18 percent increase in paralegal positions between 2010 and 2020. The annual mean wage for Montana paralegals was $40,110. Paralegals with more education, more specialized skills or more experience are frequently the individuals selected for higher-paying jobs, and some of these paralegals made as much as $55,360–an amount which can go much further in Montana than in places like New York, Los Angeles or Chicago.

*Whether you’re looking to earn an undergraduate degree in preparation for the Certified Paralegal Exam, or ready to advance your career with a master's degree in legal studies, accredited online programs make it easier than ever to get the education you need:

Washington University School of Law offers an online Master of Legal Studies (MLS) program. This 12-month master's degree allows paralegals to gain in-depth knowledge of US Law. The program can be completed without relocating or leaving your job. No GRE or LSAT scores required.

Job search websites such as Indeed.com list a variety of job opportunities for paralegals and individuals with paralegal skills. These are indicative of employers of many kinds seeking out individuals with paralegal skills to maintain high quality legal services.

Paralegal Certification

There is currently no mandatory licensing or certification for paralegals in Montana, although national certification can serve as a sign of higher knowledge and skills. Paralegals who attain this added accreditation are frequently selected over others to fill open positions.

Where to Earn Your Paralegal Certificate or Degree in Montana

Paralegal Certificates

  • Montana State University (MSU) Billings

    Montana State University Billingsparalegal certificate courses give students practical skills such as drafting legal documents and legal research; training in and access to Westlaw is provided. Students also learn how to interview clients and witnesses and prepare trial notebooks. Classes are held on Saturdays and Sundays for six weekends, so that individuals who work may attend. This program can also be completed online in two consecutive seven-week sessions or through a self-study program over a period of up to one year.

    • Estimated Program Cost: online courses range from $275 to $1,189; (based on 2013 per-course tuition; costs of on-campus and DVD courses may vary)
    • Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED
    • ABA Approved: No
    • Format: On campus, online or DVD

Paralegal Associate Degrees

  • University Of Great Falls

    The University of Great Falls is a four-year, private Catholic institution located between Yellowstone and Glacier National Park. Its associate degree in Paralegal Studies gives students not only a knowledge of the law, technology applied to the law and analytical thinking, but also a depth of understanding as to how these skills can be used in pursuit of a career and helping society. Mandatory internships in law firms, judges’ offices and corporations give students practical experience. This program is available online for army paralegals who have successfully completed their Army 27D10 AIT Training.

    • Estimated Program Cost: $39,720; $16,000 for army paralegals (based on 2013-2014 full-time tuition for non-military students and per-credit tuition for military students)
    • Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED
    • ABA Approved: Yes
    • Format: On campus or online

    Sample required courses:

    • Introduction to Paralegalism
    • Intro to Legal Analysis
    • Legal Research and Writing
    • Commercial Law
  • Missoula College

    Missoula College, part of the University of Montana, offers an Associate of Applied Science in paralegal studies that combines practical and theoretical education. Students are taught to analyze legal issues, draft documents, interview clients, prepare cases for trial and conduct legal research using traditional tools and modern technology. The school has an articulation agreement with the University of Great Falls for students wishing to continue their studies by earning a bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies. The faculty is comprised of working professionals, and classes are designed to be small and personal. Classes are held on both the Mountain and East campuses.

    • Estimated Program Cost: $6,831 for state residents; $22,203 for out-of-state students (based on 2013-2014 per-semester tuition)
    • Prerequisites: High school diploma; test score requirements
    • ABA Approved: Yes
    • Format: On campus

    Sample required courses:

    • Criminal Procedures
    • Civil Litigation
    • Contemporary Legal Issues
    • Trial Preparation

Paralegal Bachelor’s Degree

  • University Of Great Falls

    The University of Great Falls is a four-year, private Catholic college. Its Bachelor of Science in legal and paralegal studies gives students a firm foundation in knowledge of the law, technology applied to the law and analytical thinking, and includes a mandatory internship. This program is offered via distance learning for army paralegals who have sucvessfully completed Army 27D10 AIT Training and for air force paralegals who have graduated from the Community College of the Air Force’s (AFCC) associate degree program in paralegal studies

    • Estimated Program Cost: $79,440; $32,000 for army paralegals; $16,000 for air force paralegals with AFCC transfer credits (based on 2013-2014 full-time tuition for non-military students and per-credit tuition for military students)
    • Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED
    • ABA Approved: Yes
    • Format: On campus or online

    Sample required courses:

    • Criminal Evidence & Procedure
    • Domestic and Family Law
    • Litigation and Trial Practice
    • Commercial Transactions
    • Office Systems
    • Legal Research Institute

Professional Organizations

  • The Montana Association of Legal Assistants * Paralegals (MALA) was organized in 1992. MALA is an affiliate of the National Association of Legal Assistants * Paralegals (NALA); it promotes the paralegal profession and educates the public in the utilization of paralegals. Members have access to continuing legal education (CLE), receive updates on local and nationwide legislation affecting paralegals and can take part in numerous networking opportunities. MALA also awards scholarships and runs a mentoring program.
  • The State Bar of Montana is primarily for attorneys, but qualified paralegals may join as non-voting members. Benefits of membership include discounts on continuing education and the ability to gain an understanding of ethical issues faced by attorneys,
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