Thursday, January 23, 2020

Paralegal a Very Vital, Sustainable Wage, Career Opportunity in Central Illinois

A recent Forbes article titled "Here's How Much Money Paralegals Make in Every State" emphasizes what Paralegal Educators know and discuss regularly as the status for this career on a national and regional basis.  This career opportunity remains vibrant and vital in Central Illinois, the State of Illinois and throughout the United States.

The Oxford Dictionary defines Vitality as: the state of being strong and active; energy.





We have a "Program Vitality" process at the college.  Certain programs and courses of study are put through an analysis centered on instructional costs.  Our Paralegal program has consistently been reviewed in this process.  It has never been a question of whether we have a strong, active, energetic and quality program.  But as circumstances in Illinois and internally have changed and enrollment numbers across the board have declined, the costs of providing this and other programs versus the value of providing these opportunities to our community college district and our region continues to be an ongoing concern. 

In our case, the Value and Investment in providing this program outweigh concerns over the Cost and we continue to request assistance towards marketing the program, re-establishing agreements with surrounding community colleges in our region and generally increasing enrollments to match the needs of employers.

Currently, we list more jobs than we can help fill with Students and Graduates.

The focus of the Forbes article is Paralegal salary averages by state and it references and links the Bureau of Labor Statistics projections that show growth in the field.  Salary averages for Illinois Paralegals rank 11th nationally.  These figures are somewhat inflated by the Chicago area but downstate and regional Paralegal salaries, benefits and working conditions are very good and always improving. 

"There is a ton of paperwork and fact-checking that needs to be done in a law office on a daily basis. That’s where paralegals and legal assistants come up big. Paralegals assist lawyers by investigating facts, preparing legal documents and researching legal precedent, among many other tasks. Being a paralegal has been a popular job in the United States, especially as part of a road toward becoming a lawyer. Employment numbers have been increasing for paralegals and, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook, employment of paralegals is projected to increase much faster than average, with approximately 39,000 paralegal jobs being added from 2018 to 2028, an increase of 12%.
Using occupational data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we've analyzed and compiled a round-up of the average paralegal salary by state in the U.S. Read on for a full breakdown of where paralegals make the most money, and where they're making the least."
Read the full article here:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewdepietro/2020/01/16/paralegal-salary-state/#d78b754e8748