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Paralegal Jobs and How To Get One

Updated on March 23, 2011

A Job As A Paralegal (Legal Assistant) May Be For You.

There is a growing demand for well-trained Paralegals. If you are interested in this career, get the best education you can afford.

Your training may take several routes. You may, after completing High School, get an Associate Degree by completing a two year Paralegal Training Course at your local Community College. You may also, if you have already completed a Bachelor's Degree, enter a Paralegal Certificate Program. Or, you may take a two or four year Bachelor's Program as offered by Colleges and Universities. You can later obtain further education with a Master's Degree from a University. There are still some law offices that accept high school graduates and train them in the procedures needed to work as a Paralegal. It is important to remember that the preferred, and highest paying jobs, will always go to those with the best education.

Start early to investigate educational opportunities. Contact the Colleges and Universities in your area. Understand the training they offer and whether it will qualify you for future advancement in the field you hope to enter. You may get some helpful advice from law offices in your community.

Although Certification may not be required to work as a Paralegal in your area, it does attest to your education, your skill, and your dedication to your profession. Once you have completed the required education, and have sufficient experience, you can take the two day exam that is required for Certification.

Paralegals work in law firms primarily, but also government agencies, banks, real estate firms, and corporate offices. Many Paralegals specialize in areas such as immigration, medical systems, patents, real estate and bankruptcy. If you have a preference, make sure your training properly will equip you for this field.

To have a successful career as a Paralegal, you must be well organized and have good communication skills. You must have an excellent command of the English language, both written and spoken. You must be discreet, reliable, self-confident, resourceful, and hard-working. Successful Paralegals have excellent investigative skills and a dedication to the law. A second language may be an asset.

The duties of Paralegals may vary according to their experience and the type of office in which they work. Paralegals are the right hand of lawyers. They research, collect information, and analyze the information they find as it relates to the cases on which the attorneys are working. They prepare written reports and legal arguments which are necessary for lawyers at trial. Paralegals may interview witnesses and carry out investigations as needed by the firms where they work.

Paralegals work under the supervision of Lawyers. They are not allowed to give legal advice or represent clients in court. They are not allowed to set fees or accept clients. Paralegals are hard working and indispensable members of the legal community.

This is an exciting and rewarding career for those with the right qualifications.


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    • billips profile image

      billips 5 years ago from Central Texas

      Thanks for commenting RK Sangha - nice to hear from you - B.

    • RK Sangha profile image

      RK Sangha 5 years ago from USA

      Thanks for this hub.