Become a Paralegal

iStock_000014624181MediumThe fact that paralegals perform a variety of tasks and are trained in advanced skills such as legal research and writing may be a surprise to you. It’s not a surprise to most lawyers. Paralegals have found the field satisfying and lucrative with many opportunities for growth. If you are thinking about becoming a part of this exciting field, you might be asking some of the following questions:

Why become a paralegal?

  • Paralegals are becoming an essential part of every successful law firm.
  • Law firms are increasingly hiring paralegals to fill roles that attorneys have historically held.
  • Employment for paralegals is projected to grow faster than average because employers are trying to reduce costs by hiring paralegals to perform tasks once completed by lawyers.
  • Earning a paralegal certificate is the perfect entrée into this rewarding and growing field!

Remember law firms aren’t the only sector that utilize paralegals. Other fields include government, real estate, and social services.

How do I obtain the qualifications needed to succeed in the paralegal field?

The demand for paralegals is high and will continue to grow in years to come, thus bringing a high level of competition to the paralegal market. Those with a formal paralegal education and experience are more likely to succeed in the legal assistant role.

What do paralegals/legal assistants do?

The term paralegal and legal assistant are often used interchangeably. Paralegals perform many functions delegated by attorneys, including but not limited to the following:

  • Conduct client interviews
  • Locate and interview witnesses
  • Conduct investigations and statistical and documentary research
  • Conduct legal research
  • Draft legal documents, correspondence, and pleadings
  • Summarize depositions, interrogatories, and testimony
  • Attend executions of wills, real estate closings, depositions, court or administrative hearings, and trials with the attorney

What employment options are available for paralegals?

One of the most exciting aspects of the paralegal profession is the diversity of employment opportunities. Here are some of the career choices available:

  • Litigation
  • Bankruptcy
  • Immigration
  • Criminal Law
  • Workman’s Compensation
  • Construction Defect
  • Contract Law
  • Corporate Law
  • Real Property
  • Administrative Law
  • Court Clerk
  • Prosecutor’s Office
  • Public Defender’s Office
  • Environmental Law

View the Industry Resources page for additional information about the paralegal field.

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