Becoming a Paralegal in Michigan
This article will talk about everything pertaining to Michigan Paralegals— from how to get the right education and work experience to access Michigan’s growing Paralegal job market and regional salaries.
Paralegal Schools in Michigan
Paralegal Salary Factsheet
Like other states, the payment of paralegals in Michigan varies. There are slight differences between rates in Michigan and those of the general United States. One good example is the minimum pay for a paralegal in Michigan is about $15.09 which is slightly higher than the United States rate of $15.10. The average wage for paralegals in Michigan rates at about $23.331 per hour of work. This is lower than the United States rate of $24.49.
There is a more significant difference in the highest payments of paralegals in Michigan compared to the United States rate. A highly paid paralegal scoops $36.20 per hour while the United States rate of the highest paid paralegal falls at $39.45. The same reflects of annual income for all classes of paralegals.
The lowest paid paralegal gets about $31,400 annually is on par with the lowest estimated United States rate of $31,400. When it comes to the average pay per year, paralegals in Michigan get about $48,530 which is lower than the estimated United States rate of $50,940 per year. There is a significant difference in the highest paid whereby Michigan paralegals get about $75,300 annually.
Michigan has a smaller paralegal workforce compared to other states. But, it seems to be on the right tracts although the percent change is way lower than the United States projection percent. In 2016, Michigan recorded a total of 6,040 paralegals. The projection for the next ten years shows significant growth in the numbers moving to 6,920. This is a slight growth compared to the United States projection.
Here is where the difference comes in. The United States recorded a total of 285,600 paralegals in 2016 with a 15 percent change growing the numbers to 327,400 by the end of 2026. In comparison with the two, Michigan seems to be slacking in the numbers.
Annually, paralegals in Michigan project to grow by 730 new job postings. The general United States job posts per year during this projection period rates at 34,700 posts. There is a slight change in Michigan’s growth but not as high compared to other states.
How to Become a Paralegal in Michigan
Like other states, one must complete the education and go through an internship for added work experience. The requirements are basic such as reaching adult age, owning citizenship and having a clear criminal background. A certificate or degree in paralegal studies or a related field increases the chances of landing a paralegal job in the state.
Before one can qualify for a paralegal post, they need to have work experience in paralegal work in the state. One can get this from legal aid agencies in the country if the degree or certificate does not land you a quality internship. Although certification is not necessary to start working as a paralegal, it increases the chances of getting better jobs around the state.
The certification also helps one to scale up the ladder even with little work experience. With that, one can then start fishing for jobs. Jobs not only come from law firms in the states but also businesses, government agencies, and academic institutions. With considerable job experience then one can land better legal jobs with time.
After landing a suitable job in Michigan, one should consider joining an association. Associations not only help with sharing of information but also create a forum for networking. This is helpful for career growth and exposes paralegals to different experiences working with others.
Paralegal Programs in Michigan
Paralegal Certificate Programs
- Lansing Community College | Online | Paralegal Certificate Program.
- Oakland University | Rochester | Paralegal Certificate | 1 year.
- Delta College | University Center | Advanced certificate Legal Support Professional |(Law Office Specialist/ Law office Foundation)
- University of Michigan | Flint | Certificate paralegal Studies | 7 weeks.
Paralegal Associate Degree Programs
- Baker College of Auburn Hills | Auburn Hills, Clinton, Jackson | Paralegal Studies |60 hours.
- Davenport University | Grand Rapids | Paralegal Studies | 64 credit hours.
- Delta College | University Center | Legal Support Professional | 64 credit hours.
- Ferris State University | Big Rapids | Legal Studies.
- Henry Ford Community College | Dearborn | Paralegal Studies.
- Lansing Community College | Paralegal Studies.
- Macomb Community College | Warren | Legal Assistant.
- Madonna University | Livonia | Paralegal Studies, 62 credits.
Paralegal Bachelor Degree Programs
- Baker College of Auburn Hills | Auburn Hills | Legal Studies | 60 hours.
- Davenport University | Grand Rapids | Paralegal Studies | 120 credit hours.
- Eastern Michigan University | Ypsilanti | Paralegal Studies.
- Grand Valley State University | Allendale | B.A Legal Studies, B.S Legal Studies.
- Madonna University | Livonia | B.S Paralegal Studies | 62 credits.
Michigan Requirements for Paralegals
Michigan does not necessarily require paralegals to register to work in the state. However, education and work experience are necessary to help you scale up the ladder professionally. Essential requirements such as a age and citizenship are crucial during the registration process. One has to be of adult age and a legal citizen of the United States. Legal aliens are also eligible to register as paralegals in Michigan.
When it comes to education, a two to four years paralegal studies program is suitable to start practicing as a paralegal. During this time, you should ensure the program is approved by the American Bar Association. Before you can register for work, you ought to have practiced in the State and gained some experience. That is through an internship or pro bono work.
It is not mandatory that a paralegal needs certification to perform within the state. However, getting the certification enhances the work experience and gives access to better opportunities in the field. The National Association of Legal Assistants is responsible for issuing the certification to paralegals.
The association provides two types of certification that are Certified Paralegal and Advanced Paralegal Certification. To get any of these titles, however, one has to sit for an exam and reach the minimum required points for certification. For the Advanced Paralegal Certification, one is expected to complete a short curriculum provided by NALA.
The State Bar of Michigan expects all registered paralegals to pay the dues before November each year. The fees vary depending on the membership status of the paralegals. If not paid by the last day of November, the renew fee attracts a $50 payments for the delay. One can pay online by visiting the bar's website and logging in to the member profile.
Law Firms for Graduate Paralegals in Michigan
Smith & Johnson
The firm is a general practice firm located in Traverse City, Michigan. It has offices in Lansing and Glen Arbor serving clients across the country. It has a broad scope of services including business law, commercial litigation, family law, personal injury, financial institutions, etc. Visit them Smith-Johnson.com
The law firm has offices in Ann Arbor, Traverse City and Birmingham in Michigan. It covers a wide selection of issues including employment matters, civil right violation, education-related cases and business issues. The Lawyers pride themselves on integrity and professionalism serving the clients. Visit them at NachtLaw.com
Stimpson & Associates Law
This firm has offices in Ann Arbor and Tecumseh in Michigan. It serves clients across the country and covers a variety of issues. Some of these include trusts and wills, family law, probate, power of attorney and business law. The legal team has experience in estate planning as well as other family-related issues. Visit them at StimpsonLaw.com
Mike Morse Law
This is one of Michigan’s largest personal injury law firms. It covers issues such as car accidents, social security and disability benefits and dog bites. The firm is located in Southfield, Michigan and covers clients around the region. Visit them at 855MikeWins.com
This private law firm is dedicated to providing legal services to clients around Macomb, Wayne, and Oakland counties. It also serves throughout the Southeastern region of Michigan. The firm covers litigation, transactional work, and administrative proceedings. The firm operates on standards of understanding the individual client’s needs and solving issues amicably. Visit them at DeldinLaw.com
Dingeman & Dancer Law
The firm is full service and serves clients across Michigan. It covers businesses, governments, non-profits, and individuals. The main areas of concern include personal injury, car accidents, nursing home negligence, real estate, estate planning business matters and construction law. Visit them at Ddc-Law.com
Michigan Paralegal Professional Organizations
Great Lakes Paralegal Association
The association is dedicated to providing a platform for paralegals to continue legal education, get the professions mentoring and promote paralegal certification. Also, the association encourages paralegals to cooperate with local and state bar association to create professional networks.
Also known as the Association for Legal Professionals, NALS of Michigan seeks to promote competencies and contribution of members in the legal field. It creates a platform where paralegals and other legal professionals can network and establish professional bonds.
One of the oldest bar association, this one has been widely known for the high levels of professionalism. The association has been in existence since 1902 and works to improve the delivery services among lawyers and other legal professionals. Also, the association is a platform where legal professional address issues they face in the line of work.
State Bar of Michigan
(Legal Assistant Section)
The section of the bar offers the necessary education, shares information and analyzes the issues facing paralegals in Michigan. It does so by holding meetings, seminars, the website and public service programs. New members can join as long as they have attained the minimum educational qualifications.
1. Salary Data: Paralegals and Legal Assistants, Bureau of Labor Statistics https://www.bls.gov/ooh/legal/mobile/paralegals-and-legal-assistants.htm
2. Employment Statistics: Paralegal and Legal Assistants, Michigan, CareerOneStop.org
3. Colleges: AAfPE https://www.aafpe.org/page/FindingProgram