Do you like to write, research, and help people? Do you love making order out of chaos and playing a crucial role on a team? If the answer is yes and you’re interested types of law, cases, and courts, you’d probably enjoy being a paralegal. The paralegal is the attorney’s right-hand man or woman, a vital member of a legal team that aids clients in a time of need and strives for justice. Typical duties include filing, legal writing, investigation, research, trial preparation, organizing evidence, and communicating with other lawyers, clients, and witnesses. Some of the great things about being a paralegal include:
- Job Growth: Laws are changing allowing paralegals to do more, and attorneys are hiring more paralegals to increase efficiency and reduce costs.
- Good Pay: The median annual wage for paralegals and legal assistants was $49,500 last year. The annual wage for paralegals employed by the federal government was $64,650
- Variety: Different cases, different clients, different tasks, different specialties. There’re always new things to learn and new skills to acquire. You’ll be doing a lot of research and getting to know cases well.
- Helping People: Paralegals often have a lot of contact with clients and witnesses, acting as a go-between for the attorney. The opportunity to support clients through tough times can be rewarding.
- Room for Growth: If your performance is impressive, you can advance in a firm or department to management positions. Some paralegals use the job as a stepping stone to a law degree
- Respect: Paralegals are no longer glorified legal secretaries. They are taking on more challenging, complex tasks and becoming essential parts of a legal team.
- Develop Valuable Skills: As a paralegal, you will develop several valuable skills that will be transferable to other industries, such as writing, research, preparing contracts, and helping clients.
- Learn All About the Legal System: There are tons of interesting topics in all areas of law, from criminal justice, civil law, and family law.
- Portable: People will always need lawyers and lawyers will always need paralegals. Wherever you go, you’ll probably be able to find paralegal positions with a law form or government office.
- Quick Training: You can train to be a paralegal in one or two years. Plus, there are affordable paralegal programs you can take online.
Some people don’t have the time and money to get a four-year degree at a university. You can train online to be a paralegal on your own schedule while you’re working. When you’re done, you’ll be career-ready with the knowledge and skills for an entry-level paralegal position. Then, you get to learn the ins and outs of a law firm, the court system, and criminal or civil cases. At the same time, you’re helping clients and assisting attorneys so they can provide the best service and advice. Being a paralegal is also a good way to see if you want to become an attorney someday.