Are you planning to do some paralegal work? Whether you are contemplating a short stint as a paralegal before going to law school or you want to make a full career out of it, it is best to know which area of paralegal expertise you wish to get exposed in.
A paralegal is someone a lawyer can delegate substantive legal task to. You have to be qualified either by training, experience or education. Paralegal work can involve something as basic as administrative task like filing and organizing documents. And, depending on your employer you may also be tasked with something more challenging like drafting legal documents and get exposed to courtroom action.
Just like a lawyer, a paralegal have the option of working in one of the several areas of legal specialties. Here are 5 common areas that you might consider for yourself:
1. Immigration Paralegal - The challenge of being an immigration paralegal is that you will be dealing with cases that may take up to several years. You also have to be well versed with immigration laws. And you will be dealing with clients who has some immigration issues. Due to the longevity of some cases and its personal nature, most of the time, you are required to form a very close and good working relationship with your client.
2. Bankruptcy Paralegal - In this tenet of paralegal work, you will sometimes be dealing with business entities as well as individuals. If you wish to practice in this field, you need to have the training or gain the experience in the types of documents needed for the clients to fill out to file for bankruptcy. There is an increasing demand for this kind of job as more are filing for bankruptcy nowadays.
3. Litigation Paralegal - Many find this area of law very exciting. It's probably because most of the movies where we see intense courtroom drama. However, working as a paralegal in this field can prove to exciting as well as tedious. The process of filing for trials will need extensive hours of paperwork for a paralegal. You will need to prepare documents needed. You have to work on briefs, deposition, motions and documents supporting your motions. You will need to put in the hours of rigorous work before you can even see some courtroom action. It can be very work intensive but it is also very rewarding.
4. Corporate Paralegal - You will be dealing mostly with business entities in this area of paralegal work. This area is a very general term and you can be dealing with taxes or IRS documents and audits.
Working as a paralegal will be a very good stepping stone if you wish to undergo law studies. There's no better way to learn than to take part in the legal world. Or, on the flip side, it may make you realize that legal profession does not suit you. Working as a paralegal is the best way to test waters. And of course, there's also the option making a full career out of it. Whichever you decide to do, paralegal work is a rewarding job in itself.