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Washington, D.C. Paralegal Employment Market
Washington D.C. is the home of the United States legal community and offers a tremendous amount of opportunity to anyone looking to work in the legal field, including as paralegals and legal assistants.
U.S. Government - Largest Employer
The most important employer in Washington D.C. is undoubtedly the federal government. And as it relates to the legal field, the Department of Justice typically employs more legal professionals than any other department. But despite the Department of Justice’s preeminence, other departments also have a significant need for legal support personnel including the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, and the State Department. Taken together, the 15 executive departments employ hundreds of legal support personnel and are constantly in pursuit of more. One interesting fact is that many paralegal job positions with the U.S. government require a paralegal certificate.
Major Law Firms Located in D.C.
Washington D.C. is also home to many of the nation’s largest law firms including:
- Covington & Burlington LLP
- Hogan Lovells
- Arnold and Porter Kaye Scholer LLP
- Latham and Watkins LLP
- Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
All the above listed firms, and many other Washington D.C. area firms, each have hundreds of attorneys working in the area, creating tremendous demand for support staff such as paralegals and legal assistants.
Mid and Smaller Firms
While large firms may employ higher numbers of legal support personnel on a per firm basis, collectively small and midsize firms employ the majority of paralegals in Washington D.C. Those looking to get their start in the legal field are often better served by starting at a smaller or midsize firm, gaining experience, and then applying to work at a larger firm.
Washington, D.C. Paralegal Salaries
Paralegals in Washington D.C. earn salaries depending on education, experience, and employer. The larger firms and U.S. government tend to have higher starting salaries than midsize and smaller firms. While the U.S. government and larger firms may start paralegals anywhere from $24 to $30 (or more) per hour, smaller and midsize firms may pay anywhere from $17 per hour to $25 per hour starting salary.
Why Choose PIW?
We offer a range of training packages in various subject areas and offer blended learning opportunities to best meet your needs. If sitting in a room with a trainer with the opportunity for discussion with other learners sounds good to you, we offer this. Rather study in your own time at your own pace? Our e-learning packages are right up your alley.
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Paralegal Certificate Program - 60-Second Overview
Legal writing is essential to high-level legal work. Legal writing involves analyzing fact patterns and constructing persuasive legal arguments in written form. Paralegals must know how to both create legal documents and review legal documents written by others in order to ensure consistency and accuracy of content.
The bluebooking and cite checking part of the course deals with the paralegal’s use of The Bluebook and its uniform legal citations guidelines. Paralegals must know how to both create legal citations according to Bluebook guidelines, and check citations in legal documents for accuracy.
Thoughtful research is essential to legal work. Paralegals research in order to find relevant statutes and case precedents and discover secondary sources that may help bolster a legal argument. The legal research course deals with the paralegal’s use of research platforms such as Westlaw and LEXIS-NEXIS to investigate statutes, cases, and secondary sources.
This paralegal certification course provides the student with background on the pros and cons of filing bankruptcy and who is involved. The various types of bankruptcies are also discussed, along with their procedures and their end results.
This course provides the student with background on 42 U.S.C §1983 which enforces provisions of the 14th Amendment (due process), deters state actors and provides remedy where state law is inadequate. Actions, exceptions, and remedies are also detailed.
This course provides the student with background on all aspects of the criminal litigation process, from arrest to trial. The different types of criminal and civil crimes are distinguished, as well as their defenses.
This paralegal certification course provides the student with background on contracts and business transactions, including offer and acceptance, the “mirror image” rule, statute of frauds, and defenses to a contract.
This course provides the student with background on the relationship between the paralegal and the lawyer, and exposes the student to the ethical obligations of a lawyer to his/her client. The ethics codes are also examined.
This course provides the student with background on the multi-faceted area of family law, including prenuptial contracts, divorce, child custody and adoption issues.
Federal Civil Procedure
This course provides the student with background on the rules that govern the conduct of all civil actions brought in the Federal district courts. The relation between Federal and state regulations are also compared.
This course provides the student with background on the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and the intricate web of rules, regulations, and exceptions within the field of Immigration law, including visas, green cards, the naturalization process, political asylum, and the deportation process.
This course provides the student with background on the different types of intellectual property. As this area of law continues to grow and expand, so do the stipulations regulating trademarks, registration, copyright, marks and patents.
This course provides the student with background on corporations and partnerships, including corporate structure, classification, formation and other related areas.
This course provides the student with background on the different elements associated with owning property. The ways in which property is held, the different types of tenancies, liens, and forms of purchase and sale are discussed.
This course provides the student with background on the American tort law system, including cases arising from automobile accidents, medical mistakes, and product defects. Notions of birth injuries, wrongful death, and survival claims are also addressed.
Wills, Trusts, and Estates
This course provides the student with background on this ever-changing area of the law. The differences between wills, trusts, and estates are discussed, including their creating, critical elements, and executions.
This course provides the student with background on paralegal support tasks, including proper filing, document production, summarizing deposition transcripts, bates-labeling, and medical records and bills reviews.
Resume and Interview Techniques
This course provides the student with background on the do’s and don’ts of resume writing and interviews. The student are advised on the nuances of interviewing at law firms, and assisted with drafting resumes and cover letters.
I would highly recommend this program to anyone who is making a career change… Thank you!!!!"
I love the way the coursework allows for accommodations to meet our individual and family needs.
The program is well designed and the textbooks are really terrific… The class options offer some flexibility and the instructors were quite good.
What paralegals do
Paralegals help attorneys with everything from client intake, to interviewing witnesses, to helping to prepare for trial. High-level paralegal skills such as legal research, legal writing, and legal citations allow the paralegal to engage in high-impact legal work.
The exact responsibilities of each paralegal will vary from one law office to the next.
The paralegal pay scale varies as much as paralegal responsibilities. Usually, legal assistants and paralegals in big cities will earn more than those in small towns. Generally, entry level paralegals can expect to earn $15 to $30 per hour, while high-level experienced paralegals can earn well over $100,000 per year.
Why become a paralegal?
People go into the paralegal field for a variety of reasons. Some of the most common include:
- Interest in the law
- Interest in helping people
- Paralegal as a step toward becoming an attorney
- Desire for a rewarding career
Paralegal Certificate Benefits
Earning a paralegal certificate gives you a competitive advantage over other applicants both in landing your first paralegal job position and when seeking to advance your legal career.
Your paralegal certificate from Paralegal Institute of Washington, D.C. is good NATIONWIDE. The skills that you develop while completing the program are applicable in a wide variety of legal settings from coast to coast.
Perfect for Career Advancement
In today's job market, employers are increasing requiring their new hires and existing employees to steadily pursue higher education.
Whether you are looking to start your paralegal career or advance, a paralegal certificate is a great way to show employers that you are an education-minded applicant.
Paralegal Certificate Program Tuition
To enroll follow these three easy steps:
1. Make payment below by clicking "enroll now" below your desired payment option.
Note: by enrolling you agree to the refund policy found here.
3. Return enrollment form to firstname.lastname@example.org
Pay In Full
Yes. Scroll down and you will find our payment plans. Payment plans require the first month's payment plus a $75 enrollment fee.
We offer the sale price as incentive for you to pay the tuition in full all at once. If you choose to take advantage of the sale price you should be ready to pay the tuition in full.
This is a non-degree program so financial aid such as FAFSA does not apply. We will work with any organization that is willing to assist the student make payment.
The PIW binder is included in the tuition and is uploaded into the website where you will access your lessons. There is one required book that you must buy - the Bluebook. It costs about $45. You can purchase it at legalbluebook.com.
There are other OPTIONAL books that you can purchase. These are listed on the syllabus.
About the program
Yes. This certificate is valid nationwide. California is the only state that has additional requirements to become a paralegal and California residents should familiarize themselves with California law before registering for this course.
ABA approval applies to colleges and universities. We are a private career institute and ABA approval does not apply to this program.
We have investigated regional accreditation and decided against it. We speak to hundreds of attorneys every week and we have not noticed any significant demand for accredited paralegal certificates. We decided not to pursue the EXPENSIVE accreditation process, which would only raise prices for students and seemingly not give them much additional benefit in the job market.
As far as we are aware, NO PARALEGAL PROGRAM IN THE COURNTRY does as much to help students find employment as we do. We literally talk to thousands of attorneys every month to find internship opportunities and job opportunities, and we are very successful at it. But we cannot guarantee that you will get a job. In order to land a job you have to convince the employer that you are the best person for the position. So while we can help you get in front of employers, YOU must still do your part to get the job.
Completing the program
- 18+ years old
- High school diploma or equivalent
- Proficient using a computer
- Ability to read and write English
- Complete 12 learning modules
- Each module has assignments and most modules have a quiz.
- Take the final and pass it with a 70% or better.
- Complete either a 140-hour internship or a project.
- The internship can be in-person or virtual, but must be completed under the supervision of an attorney.
- The project consists of a hypothetical medical malpractice case. You will have to complete 10 assignments related to the case which require legal writing and legal research.
Yes. We contact thousands of attorneys across the country every month to help our students secure internship opportunities. The internship assistance begins after the student has completed all assignments and passed the final exam.
This program is SELF-PACED and delivered over video-recorded lessons. You will have 6 months to complete all of the assignments, quizzes, take the final, and either complete the internship or project.
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This is Our Final Text Section
Since launching in 2003, Paralegal Institute of Washington, D.C. has been offering world-class Paralegal Certification and Training to our students. We are the only private paralegal institute in the Washington DC area. With a reputation for exceptional training, excellent staff, and outstanding graduates, the legal community recognizes PIW as the industry leader in paralegal education.
Committed to our core values of passion, integrity, and honesty, we deliver the best paralegal programs in the Washington DC. We take pride in providing affordable training and certification in 4-6 months compared to other programs which offer two-year programs.
Our goal is to remain current and on pace with the newest trends in the legal industry.