Criminal Justice Articles

Paralegal Career Outlook

A paralegal has a very important job and is highly involved with an attorney's office in many different aspects. Paralegals may typically assist an attorney or group of attorneys with things like preparing court documents, delivering and getting signatures on various court-related documents, taking notes while in a court room, filing, and learning the many different inner workings of the legal justice system. The competition for paralegals is quite intense, and there are certain requirements one may pursue in order to be hired.

Most paralegals start out by getting their paralegal certificate. Many community colleges offer the program, as well as online education institutes. Some larger universities offer the paralegal certificate as well. This training requires a well-rounded education in English, law, human studies, and often Latin is required since so much of the legal language is still written in Latin. Once someone receives his or her paralegal certificate, it is often difficult to land a permanent job right away. Most lawyers want their paralegals to have some sort of experience before they hire them, so an internship could be a good way to go. Internships may offer hands-on training, and some internships will pay the intern. Internships could be a great way to get a foot in the door and have some on the job experience for your resume.

Temporary employment agencies often hire short-term paralegals for attorney's offices that have someone who may be out of the office temporarily. Or, they may offer these jobs as a temporary-to-permanent pathway for employment. In other cases, a law firm might have a large involved case or a special project, and they need to hire a paralegal on a temporary basis. This may help people gain experience while working in a real legal environment and this can be included on a resume to show a potential employer previous experience.

A paralegal must be able to communicate effectively, since they are often asked to speak to witnesses and take depositions. Good comprehension skills and the ability to write shorthand and type quickly are also important. The real skill that stands out for paralegals is having a solid knowledge of the law. Laws are constantly changing, so keeping up with the new updated changes is important. If you're looking for a paralegal job, try to decide on a niche such as real estate law, criminal law, or divorce law, to name a few.

While the field of paralegals is competitive, those who are able to get their name out there often get the job. Being confident and able to handle high-pressure situations is essential. As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics most paralegals may earn around $45,000 per year, depending on location, experience, and the law firm in which they are employed. There are scholarships and grants designed specifically for future paralegals in order for them to attend school. The world of paralegal is a dynamic, exciting one that can open up a wide array of opportunities within the legal field.

Schools OfferingParalegal Courses:

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