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Criminal Justice Articles

Paralegal Career options

A paralegal trains to be an assistant or legal secretary to a private practice or law firm. Their duties will include drafting documents, doing legal research, legal correspondence, making phone calls and conducting filing. A paralegal may be the first person to talk to a client on their first visit with a lawyer, and they will take notes of the meeting for further evaluation by the lawyer. The job of a paralegal is a demanding one at times, especially for those who work with high-profile cases.

A paralegal is not allowed to give out any type of legal advice. They are not permitted to sign any type of legal document, or to represent a client in a courtroom. They are trained in some of the same ways as a lawyer, making them invaluable to their boss or law firm. They will free up a lawyer's time enabling them to work on other things. A paralegal costs less than a lawyer, although their salary is still quite substantial. Paralegals have one of the most important jobs during a court case or trial or other legal matter; their information must be accurate and up to date.

As long as there are court cases, the need for lawyers will always be there. Consequently, so will the need for a paralegal. Paralegals will be able to work in every type of law.

Lawyers who specialize in the following fields will have a need for a paralegal:

  • Bankruptcies
  • Billing and Collections
  • Family Law
  • Foreclosures
  • Immigration
  • Litigation
  • Real Estate
  • Criminal Laws
  • Personal Injury lawsuits
  • Personal lawsuits

These are just a few areas where a paralegal can work. Many large law firms work with different cases, so the job may be more diverse. Many college graduates will blend a few different areas so that they can get the experience they need. Around 70 percent of all paralegal graduates are found in a law firm. Other career options include working in a government organization or in a business' legal department. The United States Department of Justice is the largest government employer of paralegals. Other career opportunities include those who work for themselves in their own business. Doing so allows them to contract themselves out as a freelancer, to different lawyers and law firms.

As many laws of the land become more complex, a paralegal may do well to receive additional training or certificates. This will then allow them to take on jobs that require special certification.

Schools OfferingParalegal Courses:

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