Paralegal Education in Nebraska
The paralegal population in the state of Nebraska is fairly small, but is experiencing a growing trend. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this state has about 1,010 working paralegals, the majority of whom are concentrated in Omaha and Lincoln. On a national scale, paraprofessional jobs are expected to increase by 28%, with 70,000 new jobs added in the next 6 years.
The mean salary for a paralegal in Nebraska is currently about $43,310, with an average hourly wage of $20.82. The largest employer of paralegals in Nebraska is private law firms, with the government and corporate sectors also providing employment.
The Nebraska Code of Professional Responsibility defines a paralegal as a “support person” associated with a lawyer. The Nebraska Code of Professional Responsibility also states that licensed attorneys must supervise any support person working under them and that they are legally responsible for all legal assistant conduct. Like all US states, Nebraska prohibits paralegals and all non-licensed lawyers from practicing law.
The state of Nebraska does not yet provide any official licensing or certification requirements for paralegals. Instead, aspiring legal assistants can earn a Paralegal Studies certificate or degree at a school, or become a paralegal informally via on-the-job training. However, most working paralegals who hold a certificate or degree from an accredited and endorsed program are given preference when applying for jobs. If a working legal assistant is looking to earn an official certificate, they may be able to receive financial support from their employer.
Paralegals in Nebraska receive their certificate or degree when they pass an approved certification exam. To help support their career, paralegals or paralegal students should also consider becoming a member of an official organization, such as the Nebraska Paralegal Association (NePA), which provides networking, employment and continuing education opportunities.
|In USD as of Feb 21, 2013 (source: indeed.com)||25k||50k||75k|
|Paralegal in Nebraska $38,000||
The American Bar Association (ABA) not only provides oversight, regulation and licenses of attorneys, it also endorses law programs and colleges. An approval from the ABA proves an institution’s quality and credibility, and many employers will only hire legal assistants who hold a certificate or degree from an ABA-endorsed program.
A school’s accreditation status – different from its endorsement – is provided by the US Department of Education. Accredited institutions have shown themselves to be legitimate and ethical and are a good bet when considering education options.
Aspiring legal assistants may find that many employers require a certificate or degree from an accredited school, an ABA-endorsed school, or both, or even neither. For the most employment opportunities, it’s best to attend a school that is both accredited by the Department of Education and endorsed by the ABA.
Nebraska is home to two paralegal school programs endorsed by the American Bar Association:
College of Saint Mary is a private Catholic college for women located in Omaha. It offers the only 4-year Paralegal Studies program in the state. This school has three programs available, including an Associate degree, a Bachelors degree and a certificate for students who have already earned a Bachelor’s degree in another field.
Metropolitan Community College is a public community college with campuses in the Omaha metro area that offers an Associate in Applied Science Degree in its Legal Studies – Paralegal program. The 2-year degree takes 102 credit hours to complete.
Firms of Interest
There are dozens of prestigious law firms in Nebraska with the majority located in Omaha. A few are listed below:
Baird Holm LLP
1500 Woodmen Tower
1700 Farnam Street
Omaha, NE 68102-2068
Ballew Covalt Hazen PC, LLO
1045 Lincoln Mall, Suite 200
Lincoln, NE 68508
P. O. Box 81229
Lincoln, NE 68501
Abrahams Kaslow & Cassman LLP
8712 West Dodge Road, Suite 300
Omaha, Nebraska 68114
Other Resources for Paralegals
[qs_listing state=”NE” campustype=”both” areaofinterest=”CRIMINAL-JUSTICE-LEGAL-SAFETY”]