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Become a Paralegal in Utah

A 2012 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showed 1,920 paralegals in the state of Utah. Their hourly annual mean wage was $22.18 with an annual mean wage of $46,120. More education and experience can lead to better paying positions, and the upper 90th percentile of Utah paralegals made as much as $68,830.

Although the economy has shown some signs of recovery, companies are still seeking ways to lower costs. Paralegals have proven to be an excellent resource for law firms, corporations, government and the judicial system in lowering legal costs: paralegals can perform interviews, prepare legal documents, conduct research and perform other duties with professional quality.

Not only has the BLS projected an 18 percent increase in paralegal positions nationwide between 2010 and 2020, paralegals have skills that are valuable in many areas including real estate firms, government entities and even the military. That means that not only is the number of paralegal positions increasing, but individuals with paralegal skills can seek employment in areas that they find interesting and that offer greater job satisfaction.

Paralegal Certification

There is currently no mandatory licensing or certification of paralegals in the state of Utah.

Where to Earn Your Paralegal Certificate or Degree in Utah

Paralegal Certificates

  • Utah Valley University (UVU)

    Utah Valley University (UVU), located in Orem Utah, offers a 24-credit certificate in legal studies designed to give graduates basic legal knowledge. The program covers legal research, civil litigation, business law and legal technology and software.

    • Estimated Program Cost: $8,400 for state residents; $25.675 for out-of-state students (based on 2013-2014 per-credit tuition)
    • Prerequisites: High school diploma GED or homeschool certificate; ACT, SAT or ACCUPLACER scores
    • ABA Approved: Yes
    • Format: On campus; few courses available online

    Sample required courses:

    • Introduction to American Law
    • Civil Litigation
    • Legal Research I & II
    • Technology in Law Practice

Paralegal Associate Degrees

  • Eagle Gate College

    Eagle Gate College offers an Associate of Science in paralegal studies. This program can be completed in as little as 20 months and is available at the Salt Lake City and Layton campuses, as well as online. Students gain a basic knowledge of law and learn practical skills such as document preparation, legal research, question preparation for interrogations and interrogation questioning.

    • Estimated Program Cost: $32,500 (based on 2014-2015 full-program tuition)
    • Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED; test score requirements also apply
    • ABA Approved: No
    • Format: On campus or online

    Sample required courses:

    • Business Law
    • Computer Applications
    • Evidence for Paralegals
    • Introduction and Paralegal Practices
  • Salt Lake Community College

    Salt Lake Community College offers an affordable education on multiple campuses. Students in its Associate of Applied Science in paralegal studies program learn to interview clients and witnesses, understand the litigation process, use traditional and electronic resources for legal research and draft legal documents, as well as develop critical thinking skills and good oral and written communication skills. The program consists of a minimum of 64 credits and can be completed in four semesters.

    • Estimated Program Cost: $6,684 for state residents; $21,188 for out-of-state students (based on 2013-2014 per-semester tuition for full-time students)
    • Prerequisites: High school diploma, GED or associate degree
    • ABA Approved: Yes
    • Format: On campus

    Sample required courses:

    • Intro to Law
    • Intro to Civil Litigation
    • Evidence
    • Criminal Law & Practice
  • Southern Utah University

    Founded in 1897, Southern Utah University is located Cedar City, just northeast of St. George. Its paralegal/legal assistant Associate in Applied Science prepares students to enter the paralegal field; it also provides a solid foundation for those who wish to continue their studies in a pre-law program. Classes in legal research and writing prepare students to gather information for cases and prepare legal documents; students also learn law office procedures, gain an understanding of criminal and civil law and become versed in specialty areas of the law. Students benefit from mock trial and moot court competitions, a legal studies association, internships, volunteer programs and professional advisers.

    • Estimated Program Cost: $16,272 for state residents; $53,812 for out-of-state students (based on 2013-2014 tuition for four semesters of full-time study)
    • Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED; GPA and ACT/SAT scores are taken into consideration
    • ABA Approved: No
    • Format: On campus with select courses offered online (as of early 2014, an online program is being developed)

    Sample required courses:

    • Introduction to Law
    • Law Office Management
    • Business & Corporate Law
    • Family Law

Paralegal Bachelor’s Degrees

  • Broadview University

    Broadview University‘s Bachelor of Science in paralegal program is taught by experienced legal professionals. Students have access to the Westlaw legal database and take courses in litigation, legal research, legal terminology, torts, law office procedures, contracts, criminal law, constitutional issues, probate and family law. This program is conveniently available in Layton, Orem, West Jordan, Boise and online, and can be completed in 36 months of year-round study.

    • Estimated Program Cost: $67,500 (based on 2013 per-credit tuition for full-time students)
    • Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED; minimum score on ACT, SAT or Accuplacer OR a bachelor’s degree
    • ABA Approved: No
    • Format: On campus or online

    Sample required courses:

    • Business Communications
    • Legal Terminology
    • Introduction to Paralegal Studies
    • Administrative Law
    • Contracts
  • Utah Valley University

    Utah Valley University‘s Bachelor of Science in legal studies program is designed to produce students who are competent in legal research, document production and processes in law practice. Students learn and use advanced technology and are required to surpass basic computer literacy. Students gain hands-on work experience through an internship and may choose from a number of advanced classes to learn areas of specialty law that they find fulfilling. This, combined with a solid liberal arts education, prepares students to work as paralegals in a range of settings.

    • Estimated Program Cost: $40,320 for state residents; $123,240 for out-of-state students (based on 2013-2014 per-credit tuition)
    • Prerequisites: High school diploma GED or homeschool certificate; ACT, SAT or ACCUPLACER scores
    • ABA Approved: Yes
    • Format: On Campus

Additional Paralegal Educational Programs

Professional Organizations

  • The Utah Paralegal Association (UPA) works to establish professional and ethical standards in the profession, provides opportunities for continuing legal education and networking and provides members with access to employment opportunities.
  • The Rocky Mountain Paralegal Association (RMPA) serves paralegals in Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming. It promotes continuing legal education, training and support for paralegals, encourages pro bono work and community service and promotes communication and collaboration with other paralegal associations and related organizations.
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