Criminal Justice Articles

What is the job outlook for Paralegals?

In the last few years, professors have begun telling their students that there are more students currently enrolled in law school than there are lawyers practicing. The story is true, but it also has a hidden message behind it. There are only a finite number of cases annually, and eventually all these lawyers will have to compete against each other just to make ends meet. However true the story is, it isn't true in the case of paralegals.

The job outlook for paralegals looks very good, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They point out that even as more people enter the field, those with the proper education and training have a good chance of landing a future job. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment rate will grow by 18 percent by 2020. This is a higher rate than other jobs. There are a few reasons for this.

The first reason why the job outlook looks promisiing for paralegals is because of cost cutting measures. Paralegals may have a lot of formal training in the legal field, which may allow them the chance to do certain types of jobs. Lawyers are quite expensive because they may bill by the hour, with their hourly rate several times what a paralegal makes. The law firm then bills their client the amount, but many clients can no longer afford those high rates.

A way to help these clients involves using the paralegal to do those jobs. Take, for example, legal research. A lawyer researching a case can easily bill several thousand dollars over a short period of time. A paralegal costs much less and can usually do the job quicker because they have more experience in the law library and know where things go and where things are located.

The paralegal profession may also be on the rise because the population itself is rising. Those born after World War II are now at an age where they need different types of legal advice such as wills and estate planning. The younger generation has different needs, including criminal law help. As more people seek legal help, the need for paralegals will only rise.

Those interested in becoming a paralegal will also find that they may now work in areas outside of the traditional law firm. Businesses and corporations are now building their own internal legal departments as a way to reduce the amount of money they spend in a given year. They look to paralegals for help because these people are capable of doing several different jobs, while charging less than their full staff of lawyers.

The paralegal profession is also growing because many schools now offer specialization for their students. Instead of taking a wide range of general courses, they may take classes in specific areas of law such as corporate law, environmental law or entertainment law. These students may learn the skills they need for working in one specific sector of the law, which means there may always be a place for these students once they graduate from college.

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