The Midwest States – Life in the Corn Belt or the Rust Belt
The US Census Bureau has divided the United States into four major regions, designating twelve states as the Midwest states (shown in green to the right), in the following two divisions:
- The East North Central states: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin
- The West North Central states: Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota
The links for each of the states above discuss various paralegal schools and training programs which have been approved by the American Bar Association (ABA), and other paralegal training programs which have been accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS). Each of the states’ pages also discusses some of the bar associations within the state, as well as various local paralegal associations. If the research work for the state is not yet completed, the link will open to a Wikipedia page about the state.
Make sure you take advantage of any networking opportunities which may be available to you, as your education is only the means to the end you desire – the optimal job offer. If you have not done anything to set your resume apart from all the other resumes flooding prospective employers, you’re chances of being noticed and hired will be significantly reduced. In this new economy, simply responding to help wanted ads with a resume addressed “To Whom It May Concern” isn’t going to get the job done.
If you should decide to live and work in one of the states that make up the Midwest region, you'll need to decide whether the agriculturally based economy west of the Mississippi River appeals to you, or if you prefer to live and work in the area affectionately known as the Rust Belt, east of the Mississippi. Each of these regions continues to diversify its economy by enticing new industry, from movie studios and service industries to cutting edge bio-technology and clean energy start-ups. These efforts to diversify are intended to shore up the existing economy – and to forestall the likelihood of economic collapse as long established industries continue to experience bumps and bruises while adjusting to the new national economy.
The churn in the states' economies is substantial, and could provide significant opportunities to those in position to take advantage of them. Whether you choose to seek employment with the legal department of a major manufacturer, hire into a more conservative position with a government agency, or prefer to work from home as a virtual paralegal working online for attorneys across the country, opportunities abound in the Midwest.