How to Become a Labor and Employment Paralegal

Labor and employment law is a specific section of the legal system related to solving labor disputes within the workplace.

Most graduates of programs related to this field become human resource managers who understand specific regulations and employment laws to resolve labor-related legal issues.

Labor and Employment Paralegal

These professionals work for major corporations, the Federal Government, small businesses, and other companies.

One of the greatest benefits of entering this field is the ability to move into law or Human Resources.

If you’re interested in becoming a labor and employment paralegal, keep reading to learn more!

What Is a Labor and Employment Paralegal?

A labor and employment paralegal can work in a variety of roles ranging from law firms to Human Resource managers in corporations.

Depending on the role, these specialists conduct legal research, monitor local and state laws that could impact the organization, open case files, manage case management databases, support outside counsel, and monitor emails.

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In a Human Resources role, these professionals support employees by upholding workforce law while also assisting with conflict resolution between management and employee or employee and employee.

Steps to Become a Labor and Employment Paralegal

There are four primary steps to becoming a labor and employment paralegal, including:

Step One: Finish a Paralegal Program

Budding paralegals have multiple available options ranging from certificate programs to master’s degrees.

These programs prepare students for certification and entry-level positions across numerous roles.

For those who want to specialize in labor and employment law, it’s important to find programs that offer electives in this specialization.

Step Two: Choose a Specialty

If you haven’t taken electives in labor and employment law, you can still enter the workforce in that field.

The knowledge paralegals learn in the program can be used across any industry and field.

Regardless of whether an internship is required in the paralegal program, you should pursue one in labor and employment law to give additional experience and knowledge and make you more marketable to potential employers.

Step Three: Create a Resume

Like with any job, you must create a resume, highlighting your achievements including education and internship.

The goal is to stand out against other candidates.

Always remember that paralegals draft important documents, so proofreading and writing skills are essential to your resume.

Even the smallest detail can showcase your talent as a paralegal candidate.

Step Four: Interview

The final step is to interview for a position that meets your career goals.

Apply to as many places that interest you as possible.

During the interview, highlight previous experience with managing large projects and how you had to meet tight deadlines.

Utilize your paralegal program and internship as examples of how you will be a great addition to the company or organization’s team.

Licensing Requirements to Become a Labor and Employment Paralegal

Although licensing requirements do not exist to become a labor and employment paralegal, all employers want to see a formal education within the paralegal field.

This proves your ability to learn, grow, and contribute your knowledge to the company or organization.

An endless number of programs are available online or in person across the U.S. at vocational schools, universities, and community colleges.

The higher education you achieve, the higher the salary you can make, the more knowledge you will gain, and the more attractive you are to a potential employer.

Online Training Programs

Few online training programs specifically focus on the labor and employment paralegal specialization.

The two best include:

eCornell

As part of the Cornell University education system, eCornell is an Ivy League online school offering a certificate program in employment law.

The program was designed to help aspiring human resource employees understand employment regulations and laws to manage legal workplace disputes and provide guidance on employment practices and policies.

During the certificate program, students will learn HR policies in international environments, global employment law, legal issues surrounding benefits and compensation, employment policy and law, and equal employment opportunities.

The program is entirely offered online and costs $3,900.

Texas A&M

Offered through the School of Law, Texas A&M’s Master of Legal Studies emphasizes Human Resources and employment management, policy, and law.

This online program was developed for those who don’t intend to practice law but wish to enter the Human Resources field.

The program combines real-world skills and updated legal education to ensure graduates build the expertise and legal perspective required to tackle legal challenges within different industries.

The program requires a bachelor’s degree to enroll and comprises 30 credits, which takes around two years.

The curriculum includes the U.S. legal system, employment law, foundations of business law, regulatory law, dispute resolution, and contract law.

The school also offers a 12-credit certificate.

Additional general online paralegal programs, which can help you transition into labor and employment law, include:

Davenport University

Davenport University offers an American Bar Association-approved bachelor of science in legal studies program that prepares graduates for paralegal roles in government agencies, law firms, or to pursue an advanced education.

This degree mixes law and business courses, so students are more well-rounded after graduation.

Coursework covers advanced litigation, technology in the law office, dispute resolution, negotiation, and legal terminology.

Also, an internship is required to graduate, giving students firsthand experience in a law office.

A whopping 94 percent of graduates find employment within six months of graduation.

Tuition costs $928 regardless of residency location.

Eastern Kentucky University

Eastern Kentucky University

EKU’s Bachelor of Arts in paralegal science has placed countless graduates in paralegal roles ranging from government agencies and corporations to banks and law offices.

The coursework covers real estate practice, family law, legal writing, and legal research, with an internship required during the program.

The courses only last eight weeks, so if you become bored with a topic, it ends quickly.

The program comprises 120 credits, and the school accepts up to 90 credits from previous education.

Tuition costs $434 regardless of whether you are in-state or out-of-state.

Madonna University

Although Madonna University is located in Michigan, the school offers an excellent online bachelor of science in paralegal studies.

The coursework covers trust drafting, law office management, litigation, and other relevant paralegal topics, as well as requires core classes.

Also, students must complete nine semester hours or more of legal specialty classes.

The in-state and out-of-state cost per credit is the same at $525, and Madonna University’s paralegal studies program is ABA-approved.

Roger Williams University

Roger Williams University offers another ABA-approved bachelor of science in professional legal studies program that requires 41 courses to graduate.

Several courses include criminal law for the paralegal, law in contemporary society, and legal ethics.

Nine courses must be completed in a synchronous format, while the other classes can be taken in an asynchronous order.

The cost per credit, regardless of location, is $433.

SUNY College of Technology at Canton logo

SUNY Canton

Although the SUNY College of Technology at Canton does not offer an ABA-approved program, it continues to top many lists as one of the best online paralegal programs available.

SUNY Canton has a bachelor of science in legal studies program that covers American Indian law and federal policy, border control and immigration law, environmental law, negotiation, and core classes.

The program also requires a senior project and internship.

The program can be completed in 120 credits, with the cost per credit for in-state students being $295 and $353 for out-of-state students.

Salary

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median income for a paralegal is $60,970 per year.

The job outlook between 2022 and 2032 is four percent, which is on par with the average.

Salary Information by State

State Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Alabama3,770$51,130$24.58$74,640$31,200
Alaska740$63,580$30.57$94,120$43,110
Arizona7,110$61,300$29.47$84,100$35,310
Arkansas2,160- NA -- NA -- NA -- NA -
California37,270$76,080$36.58$109,340$46,730
Colorado5,750$68,920$33.13$99,060$45,510
Connecticut4,860$67,310$32.36$91,590$46,350
Delaware1,760$68,340$32.86$99,100$41,350
District of Columbia5,580$91,880$44.17$124,650$56,780
Florida36,060$56,650$27.24$78,440$37,370
Georgia12,510$57,890$27.83$87,660$29,820
Hawaii1,150$59,690$28.70$82,310$42,270
Idaho1,500$49,930$24.00$66,940$27,100
Illinois12,370$63,590$30.57$97,100$38,060
Indiana5,590$54,080$26.00$81,840$34,820
Iowa2,570$58,310$28.04$79,260$38,260
Kansas2,680$53,440$25.69$79,630$34,710
Kentucky2,800$51,020$24.53$73,780$35,620
Louisiana5,250$52,760$25.36$75,100$35,380
Maine940$56,110$26.97$71,460$46,550
Maryland7,040$62,880$30.23$88,670$39,250
Massachusetts7,490$71,670$34.46$103,000$40,760
Michigan7,440$58,400$28.08$81,560$38,500
Minnesota6,140$63,450$30.51$94,910$39,790
Mississippi1,950$46,060$22.15$63,840$31,990
Missouri5,930$58,040$27.91$79,830$36,920
Montana1,320$58,190$27.98$79,520$41,900
Nebraska1,720$56,510$27.17$79,600$38,880
Nevada3,190$60,860$29.26$89,690$41,600
New Hampshire1,310$56,530$27.18$81,100$37,890
New Jersey9,580$65,570$31.52$96,480$38,650
New Mexico1,850$51,420$24.72$70,010$37,660
New York30,020$69,860$33.59$103,890$45,720
North Carolina12,290$56,120$26.98$81,310$35,920
North Dakota580$54,090$26.00$75,500$39,360
Ohio8,200$55,320$26.60$78,490$36,700
Oklahoma2,840$51,430$24.73$74,590$34,080
Oregon4,790$66,250$31.85$86,420$46,090
Pennsylvania11,390$64,730$31.12$92,560$39,460
Rhode Island1,320- NA -- NA -- NA -- NA -
South Carolina6,150$52,060$25.03$65,960$37,300
South Dakota500$55,290$26.58$68,120$44,300
Tennessee4,740$54,290$26.10$82,600$34,330
Texas24,600$59,970$28.83$94,540$36,300
Utah4,080$56,040$26.94$78,830$35,660
Vermont640$61,210$29.43$74,930$48,020
Virginia10,470$60,570$29.12$83,650$35,530
Washington8,020$72,590$34.90$106,510$47,960
West Virginia1,990$50,380$24.22$77,230$28,760
Wisconsin4,840$54,880$26.39$78,420$37,460
Wyoming400$52,500$25.24$65,150$36,110
Guam80$40,810$19.62$55,930$29,450
Puerto Rico710$45,220$21.74$65,670$30,560
Virgin Islands70$54,500$26.20$70,620$43,880

Annual Average Salary: Top 10 States

The top earning state in the field is District of Columbia, where the average salary is $91,880.

These are the top 10 earning states in the field:

  • District of Columbia - $91,880
  • California - $76,080
  • Washington - $72,590
  • Massachusetts - $71,670
  • New York - $69,860
  • Colorado - $68,920
  • Delaware - $68,340
  • Connecticut - $67,310
  • Oregon - $66,250
  • New Jersey - $65,570
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Paralegals and Legal Assistants, OCC Code 23-2011, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Chelsea Wilson

About Chelsea Wilson

Chelsea Wilson is the Community Relations Manager for Washington University School of Law’s distance learning LLM degree program, which provides foreign trained attorneys with the opportunity to earn a Master of Laws degree from a top-tier American university from anywhere in the world.

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