Learn How to Become a Personal Injury Paralegal

Earning a certification in paralegal studies or an associate degree is the best way to gain entry into this competitive profession. Neither is required in almost all states, but the education would grant a competitive edge and give a head start in the field. An associate degree is usually two years, and a certification is shorter but more intensive. It may require a bachelor's degree depending on the program, but some do not. Additional courses can be taken in both the area of litigation as well as personal injury, and would prepare you for this specialized area of law.

Job Duties of a Personal Injury Paralegal

Personal injury paralegals work under the supervision of an attorney, but their range of responsibilities is expanding as attorneys delegate more and more work to them in an effort to be more cost-effective. Furthermore, as they gain more experience, the scope of a personal injury paralegal's duties can also grow, though they are legally forbidden from the actual practice of law, including giving legal advice. Personal injury is a specialty of litigation that focuses on a person's injury or accident caused by another party, and it shares many of the same duties as a litigation paralegal.

A personal injury paralegal may specialize in plaintiff personal injury or defendant personal injury. Some duties of a plaintiff personal injury paralegal can include reviewing relevant state laws on personal injury, interviewing clients about their injuries, gathering medical reports, getting insurance information from the defendant, and assisting in preparing settlement demands. They need to be familiar with litigation, have good personal skills, as well as have a handle on some basic medical terminology.

Defense personal injury paralegals assist in defending the person accused of negligence or causing the accident, and often work for insurance companies. Their duties could include interviewing their clients, reviewing reports by witnesses or police, making appointments for medical examinations, determining the extent of damage covered by the insurance policy, along with other basic litigation duties.

Litigation Paralegal Salaries and Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2014-15 Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median national annual salary for paralegals and legal assistants is $46,990. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors. National long-term projections of employment growth may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth. The BLS projects job growth at 17 percent through 2022, which is faster than average for all occupations.

Research the paralegal programs and accreditation information below. These programs can help you get the necessary training to start a career as a personal injury paralegal. Request information from the programs that meet your needs.

Florida Criminal Justice Schools

Campuses: Jacksonville, Melbourne, Daytona Beach, Tallahassee, Lakeland, Fort Myers, Tampa, Pembroke Pines, Fort Lauderdale, Port St. Lucie, Sarasota, West Palm Beach, Miami

Degrees Offered:

  • Associate of Arts in Paralegal Studies (Online)
  • Associate of Arts in Paralegal Studies

Campuses: Tampa, Orlando, Pompano Beach, Largo, Melbourne, Lakeland

Degrees Offered:

  • Bachelor's - Paralegal
  • Associate's - Paralegal

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Campuses: Royal Palm Beach

Degrees Offered:

  • Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies

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Campuses: Gainesville

Degrees Offered:

  • Associate of Science in Legal Assisting/Paralegal

Campuses: Fort Myers, New Port Richey, Ocala, Lutz, Tampa

Degrees Offered:

  • Certificate - Paralegal
  • Associate's - Paralegal

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Campuses: Pensacola

Degrees Offered:

  • Associate's - Paralegal Studies

Kentucky Criminal Justice Schools

Campuses: Louisville, Lexington

Degrees Offered:

  • Associate's in Paralegal Studies
  • Bachelor's in Paralegal Studies

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Campuses: Louisville

Degrees Offered:

  • Paralegal (AAB)

California Criminal Justice Schools

Campuses: Ontario, Los Angeles, La Puente, Anaheim

Degrees Offered:

  • Associate's - Paralegal

Campuses: Salida, Stockton, Concord, San Francisco, Hayward, Fresno, Milpitas, Salinas, Rancho Cordova, Roseville

Degrees Offered:

  • Paralegal (Associate Degree)

Campuses: Los Angeles, Upland, Anaheim

Degrees Offered:

  • Associate's in Paralegal

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Campuses: Los Angeles

Degrees Offered:

  • Paralegal Studies (Associate of Arts Degree)

Colorado Criminal Justice Schools

Campuses: Colorado Springs, Thornton

Degrees Offered:

  • Associate's - Legal Assistant/Paralegal
  • Associate's - Paralegal

Campuses: Greeley, Longmont

Degrees Offered:

  • Certificate - Paralegal
  • Associate's - Paralegal

Texas Criminal Justice Schools

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Campuses: Dallas

Degrees Offered:

  • Associate's - Paralegal

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Campuses: San Antonio

Degrees Offered:

  • Paralegal Studies - Associate's

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Campuses: Amarillo

Degrees Offered:

  • Paralegal - Associate's

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Campuses: San Antonio

Degrees Offered:

  • Paralegal (AS)

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Campuses: Austin

Degrees Offered:

  • Associate's - Paralegal Studies

Missouri Criminal Justice Schools

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Campuses: Springfield

Degrees Offered:

  • Associate's - Paralegal

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Campuses: St. Joseph

Degrees Offered:

  • Associate's in Paralegal
  • Associate's in Paralegal Studies

Washington Criminal Justice Schools

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Campuses: Fife

Degrees Offered:

  • Associate's - Paralegal

Nevada Criminal Justice Schools

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Campuses: Henderson

Degrees Offered:

  • Associate's - Paralegal

Pennsylvania Criminal Justice Schools

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Campuses: Pittsburgh

Degrees Offered:

  • Associate's - Paralegal

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Campuses: Erie

Degrees Offered:

  • Associate's in Paralegal

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Campuses: Wyomissing

Degrees Offered:

  • Associate in Specialized Business - Paralegal

Campuses: Pottsville, Dickson City

Degrees Offered:

  • Associate in Specialized Business - Paralegal

Campuses: Phoenixville, Warminster, North Wales

Degrees Offered:

  • Associate's in Paralegal

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Campuses: Summerdale

Degrees Offered:

  • Associate in Paralegal (Hybrid)

New York Criminal Justice Schools

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Campuses: Rochester

Degrees Offered:

  • Associate's - Paralegal

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Campuses: New York

Degrees Offered:

  • A.A.S. in Paralegal Studies

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Campuses: Amityville

Degrees Offered:

  • Paralegal

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Campuses: Bethpage

Degrees Offered:

  • Associate of Applied Science - Paralegal Studies

Ohio Criminal Justice Schools

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Campuses: Warrensville Heights

Degrees Offered:

  • Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies

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Campuses: Dayton

Degrees Offered:

  • Associate's in Paralegal

Campuses: Independence, Columbus, Sharonville

Degrees Offered:

  • Associate of Applied Business - Paralegal

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Campuses: Cincinnati

Degrees Offered:

  • Bachelor's - Paralegal Studies

Alabama Criminal Justice Schools

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Campuses: Montgomery

Degrees Offered:

  • Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies

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Campuses: Birmingham

Degrees Offered:

  • Paralegal (AS)

South Carolina Criminal Justice Schools

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Campuses: Columbia

Degrees Offered:

  • Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies

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Campuses: Charleston

Degrees Offered:

  • Associate of Applied Science - Paralegal

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Campuses: Greenville

Degrees Offered:

  • Paralegal (AAS)

Georgia Criminal Justice Schools

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Campuses: Savannah

Degrees Offered:

  • Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies

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Campuses: Atlanta

Degrees Offered:

  • Paralegal (AAB)

Virginia Criminal Justice Schools

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Campuses: Glen Allen

Degrees Offered:

  • Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies

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Campuses: Chesapeake

Degrees Offered:

  • Associate of Applied Science Degree in Paralegal Law

North Carolina Criminal Justice Schools

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Campuses: High Point

Degrees Offered:

  • Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies

Campuses: Wilmington, Fayetteville, Raleigh

Degrees Offered:

  • Paralegal - Associate of Applied Science

Indiana Criminal Justice Schools

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Campuses: Merrillville

Degrees Offered:

  • Paralegal Assistant (C)
  • Paralegal (AS)

Oregon Criminal Justice Schools

Campuses: Springfield, Wilsonville

Degrees Offered:

  • Associate's - Legal Assisting/Paralegal

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Campuses: Portland

Degrees Offered:

  • Paralegal (Associate Degree)

Connecticut Criminal Justice Schools

Campuses: Windsor, Southington, Branford

Degrees Offered:

  • Paralegal

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Campuses: Southington

Degrees Offered:

  • Associate of Applied Science - Paralegal

Hawaii Criminal Justice Schools

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Campuses: Honolulu

Degrees Offered:

  • Paralegal (Associate Degree)

Oklahoma Criminal Justice Schools

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Campuses: Oklahoma City

Degrees Offered:

  • Paralegal (AAS)

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Campuses: Oklahoma City

Degrees Offered:

  • Associate's in Paralegal Studies

Idaho Criminal Justice Schools

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Campuses: Boise

Degrees Offered:

  • Paralegal (AS)

Minnesota Criminal Justice Schools

Campuses: Bloomington, Lake Elmo, Brooklyn Park, Eagan, St. Cloud, Moorhead, Mankato, Blaine

Degrees Offered:

  • Certificate - Paralegal
  • Associate's - Paralegal

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Campuses: Roseville

Degrees Offered:

  • Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies

Wisconsin Criminal Justice Schools

Campuses: Green Bay, Appleton, Wasau

Degrees Offered:

  • Associate's - Paralegal
  • Certificate - Paralegal

Illinois Criminal Justice Schools

Campuses: Aurora, Rockford, Romeoville, Mokena

Degrees Offered:

  • Associate's - Paralegal

Kansas Criminal Justice Schools

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Campuses: Topeka

Degrees Offered:

  • Certificate - Paralegal
  • Associate's - Paralegal

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Campuses: Overland Park

Degrees Offered:

  • Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies

Utah Criminal Justice Schools

Campuses: Murray, Layton

Degrees Offered:

  • Associate's - Paralegal Studies
  • Bachelor's - Paralegal Studies

Alberta Criminal Justice Schools

Campuses: Calgary, Lloydminster, Lethbridge, Edmonton

Degrees Offered:

  • Diploma - Paralegal

Arizona Criminal Justice Schools

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Campuses: Tucson

Degrees Offered:

  • Associate of Science - Paralegal Studies

Online Criminal Justice Schools

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Campuses: Online

Degrees Offered:

  • Associate's - Paralegal Studies (Online)

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Campuses: Online

Degrees Offered:

  • Paralegal - Associate of Applied Science (Online)

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Campuses: Online

Degrees Offered:

  • Associate's - Paralegal (Online)

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Campuses: Online

Degrees Offered:

  • Paralegal - Associate of Applied Business

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Campuses: Online

Degrees Offered:

  • Associate's - Paralegal (Online)
  • Certificate - Paralegal (Online)

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Program outcomes vary according to each institution's specific curriculum and employment opportunities are not guaranteed.
Earning a degree may not qualify you for specialized careers that require more education or experience in the field.