Become a Paralegal in Hawaii

They often say “Maui No Ka ‘Oi,” or Maui is the best, but each of the islands has its own character and beauty. Although the islands are not large in comparison to many states, a 2012 Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report showed 590 paralegals and legal assistants working in Hawaii; the majority of them were found on the main island of Oahu, the site of the capital where tourism and businesses flourish and where interests from a multitude of nations merge. With BLS predicting an 18 percent increase in paralegal positions nationwide between 2010 and 2020, Hawaii should benefit from the increased utilization of paralegals.

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Banks, real estate and development companies and a wide array of other businesses all need legal support. Individuals interested in finance, insurance, shipping or government should all be able to find a niche on one of the islands where their legal skills can be put to use. According to the BLS, the 2012 hourly mean wage for Hawaii paralegals was $26.37 and the annual mean wage was $54,850. Some paralegals made as much as $76,920 in a year. It can be hard work, but the challenges are definitely rewarding and paralegals in Hawaii have one of most beautiful, exciting places in the world in which to relax or play when the work is done.

Paralegal Certification

There is currently no mandatory licensing or certification for paralegals in Hawaii.

Where to Earn Your Paralegal Certificate or Degree in Hawaii

Paralegal Certificates

  • Liberty University Online

    A Christian university based in Virginia, Liberty University offers an online program that gives prospective paralegals the opportunity to gain an education while still working or tending to family responsibilities. Its undergraduate certificate in paralegal studies prepares students with a comprehensive course of study offered from a moral and biblical perspective. Students have a strong support system that includes academic advisers, a writing center and 24/7 access to online tutors and online ministries. Military students receive a tuition discount and book voucher; in addition, military members enrolled in at least six hours can receive a technology fee waiver.

    • Estimated Program Cost: $6,120
    • Prerequisites: High school diploma; 2.0 GPA on all high school and college coursework
    • ABA Approved: No
    • Format: Online

Paralegal Associate Degrees

  • Heald College – Honolulu

    A private career college with over 150 years of educational experience, Heald College offers graduates career services assistance for life. Its paralegal Associate in Applied Science program, offered on its Honolulu campus, gives students the primary skills they need to flourish in the legal environment. Students develop good oral and written communication skills, analytical thinking and research and organizational skills. This program is also offered online.

    • Estimated Program Cost: $31,500 (based on July 2013 per-quarter tuition)
    • Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED; satisfactory score on entry examinations
    • ABA Approved: No
    • Format: On campus or online

    Sample required courses:

    • Introduction to the Legal Profession
    • Research and Writing for Paralegals I & II
    • Fundamentals of Contracts
    • Fundamentals of Torts
  • Kapi’olani Community College (KCC)

    A public, two-year institution, Kapi’olani Community College is part of the University of Hawaii community college system. Its paralegal Associate in Science is a 60-credit program includes course work in legal research, writing and litigation. Students may explore their personal interests with courses in specialty fields of the law that can give them a foundation for pursuing those specialties upon graduation, and a cooperative education capstone provides hands-on experience. With the majority of law courses being taught at the Richardson School of Law on the University of Hawaii Manoa campus, students have the benefit of a law-specific environment not ordinarily found at community colleges. Select courses are also offered via distance learning

    • Estimated Program Cost: $6,840 for state residents; $18,960 for out-of-state students (based on 2014-2015 per-credit tuition)
    • Prerequisites: High school diploma, GED or age 18 or above
    • ABA Approved: Yes
    • Format: On campus or hybrid (on campus and online)

    Sample required courses:

    • The Hawaii Legal System
    • Law Office Management
    • Computer Applications in the Law Office
    • Legal Interviewing, Negotiating & Advocacy
    • Real Property Law

Paralegal Bachelor’s Degrees

  • Post University

    Post University was founded in Connecticut over 120 year ago, and now offers online programs to students across the country. In 2013, U.S. News & World Report named Post University on its list of best online bachelor’s degree programs. Post’s Bachelor of Science in legal studies gives students a liberal arts education with a core curriculum in legal studies. Students learn substantive law, research skills, oral and written communication and the technical skills necessary to perform well in the legal environment.

    • Estimated Program Cost: $66,000 (based on 2013-2014 full-program tuition)
    • Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED
    • ABA Approved: No
    • Format: Online

    Sample required courses:

    • Civil Litigation Practice
    • Legal Research
    • E-Commerce: The Legal Context
    • Business Organizations & Practice

Professional Organization

  • The Hawaii Paralegal Association (HPA) promotes the paralegal profession and supports paralegals in the state of Hawaii. Members have access to networking through HPA events, can take advantage of educational programs, receive news and legal updates through an online newsletter and have access to job listings. Members of the HPA are also members of the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA).