The good news for paralegal students at National American University and Western Dakota Technical Institute in South Dakota is that a growing Rapid City firm, Black Hills IP, which provides paralegal and support services to patent and trademark attorneys, is eager to hire them for jobs that used to be outsourced to India.

In fact, the Rapid City Journal reported that local hiring in the U.S. by employers such as Black Hills IP “is part of the national trend of firms moving their legal support services back to the U.S. from India.” Reasons for the trend, which is great news for paralegals and other legal support staffers, include the ability to work with staff in real time, the reduction in the wage differential between U.S. and Indian employees, and better technology for patent and trademark law in the U.S.

Of note, the productivity of U.S. paralegals is higher than their Indian counterparts.

Black Hill IP chose Rapid City in part because it has two paralegal programs that produce a significant supply of graduates each year:

There are several things we like about Rapid City. We really liked the schools, the state and the city,” said Steinberg, listing a “reasonable” wage base, as well as productive employees who tend to stay with a company for long periods. Also on the list: NAU and WDTI paralegal graduates who don’t have a lot of other area employers competing for their job skills…

That last point, the lack of other potential paralegal employers in the Rapid City area, is a good one that potential paralegal students should seriously consider. While exploring school options, potential paralegals should thoroughly explore legal job opportunities in the areas they plan to live and work.
It sounds like Rapid City, South Dakota, might be one good place to relocate if you’re interested in an IP career, and love cold, dry winters.

Source: Rapid City Journal

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