Where Do Paralegals Work?
A paralegal is a specialized assistant who provides legal work for a variety of entities that need legal help. A large percentage of the duties of a law practice can be performed by a paralegal, short of giving legal advice, charging fees or practicing law. Paralegals can work in different fields, not all them law. The type of duties they perform will depend on where they work.
Where Paralegals Work
Paralegals are often involved wherever there is a need for a lawyer; this means you can find them in a number of different fields. You will find paralegals in corporate legal departments, legal clinics, law firms, mortgage and title companies, insurance agencies, banks, accounting firms and other financial institutions, construction and engineering companies and even government agencies.
In the private business sector, almost 70% of paralegals are employed by law firms and corporate legal departments. Many of these paralegals specialize in specific fields such as wills and probate, litigation, real estate, tax, domestic affairs and even labor disputes. In the public sector, paralegals may be employed by government agencies and nonprofit firms that specialize in health care, social security, welfare, family law, unemployment and disability benefits and even tenant-landlord relations. A small percentage of paralegals operate as independent contractors, taking short term assignments and creating their own work schedules.
Duties and Work Environment Relationship
While the basis of a paralegal position is to provide legal assistance to lawyers and other entities that require knowledge of the law, specific tasks will depend on the job position itself. The responsibilities of the position are also dependent on the education, training and experience of the paralegal.
In the area of wills and probate, a paralegal might have to analyze legal documents, conduct client interviews, arrange appraisals of an estate and administer funds for an estate. They may also perform valuation and asset transfers, prepare tax returns, analyze estate funds for the best tax benefit and anything else dealing with wills and probate.
Paralegals working in the litigation department of a corporation or law firm will likely study and analyze legal documents, perform research, draft briefs, memos and pleadings, interview witnesses, and assist in trial preparation and the appeals process. On a slightly different note, a paralegal in a corporation's legal department may work on benefit plans for employees, draft contracts and agreements, and conduct research into legal facts regarding trademarks and patents.
You'll find paralegals specializing in real estate working in a real estate office or mortgage and title company. These specialist paralegals will be well-versed in researching property titles, preparing contracts for home sales and purchases, drafting mortgage agreements along with researching property laws and restrictions. Employed by the government in legal aid, a paralegal might work for a citizen seeking help with unemployment benefits or facilitate labor disputes.
Almost 250,000 paralegals are employed in the United States with the majority of them working within law firms or attorney practices. A paralegal with specialization in a particular area will more likely be able to pick and choose their work environment. For those with an altruistic side, they might work in community legal aid offices under the government umbrella within a city, town or village. Those with an eye on the big bucks might choose a position within a large law firm in a metropolitan city. There are many options in regards to where paralegals work.
Schools OfferingParalegal Courses:
Established in 2005, Peloton College was founded to fulfill a need in the IT, Legal and Medical community for well-trained professionals by providing superior academic and practical skills training.
- Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies
- Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies
- Paralegal Studies A.A.S.
- Paralegal Studies B.S.
About Brightwood College
Brightwood College offers accelerated programs that combine flexible schedules and professional instruction to create a rewarding learning experience for individuals focused on gaining the skills for specific careers. Brightwood College is owned and operated by Education Corporation of America.
- General Practice Paralegal
- Paralegal Studies - Associates
Designed with the needs of working adult students in mind, South University, Online Programs is built on the similar curriculum offered at South University's campus locations. As a student at South University, Online Programs you will receive the same quality instruction, variety of learning options and level of service found at the campus locations.
- Paralegal Studies (AS)
At Kaplan University, we offer over 180 degree and certificate programs.
- Certificate: Pathway to Paralegal Postbaccalaureate
As a student at South University, you will have the opportunity to learn from accomplished faculty members who have real-world experience in the subjects that they teach. Our small class sizes allow you to receive personalized attention from instructors, and the encouragement to recognize your goals for the future and the means to achieve them.
- Paralegal Studies (AS)
Study online with California University of Pennsylvania.
- Jurisprudence with concentration in Legal Studies (Bachelor of Science) - Online
- Paralegal Studies - Associate of Applied Science