3 Reasons Being a Paralegal Makes Sense

Paralegal Path

Paralegal PathMany people love the American legal system, but not all that end up in the industry becomes an attorney — they become paralegals.

Paralegals may be viewed second-class workers in the legal profession compared to lawyers, but they’re definitely not dispensable. As a matter of fact, the profession’s relevance has increased over the years, and is expected to rise until the next decade. Thanks to the ever-changing landscape of the industry, paralegals are now being entrusted to do certain tasks attorneys would do themselves back in the day.

So, why should you pursue this career than be a bona fide lawyer? Well, this decision makes sense if…

You’re Indecisive About Going to Law School

Some people who enroll in paralegal schools are half-hearted about being a lawyer. If you’re simply interested to practice your passion for legal work, yet still unsure that you really want to lead the life of an attorney, it might be better to enroll in paralegal schools, as LegalStudies.com notes.

As you know, you have to go through the eye of a needle to become a lawyer. Not only do you have to memorize the law and pass the bar exam before you can practice, but you also have legal educational requirements to meet even after you graduate.

You Don’t Have the Means to Study Law Yet

Studying law is downright expensive. Of course, you can apply for a student loan to fund your education, but your law school debt could reach up to six figures.

If you’re not ready to have this huge financial responsibility, especially when you’re not 100% sure that this is what you really want to do, applying for a more affordable paralegal program sounds a better choice.

You Love Law, But Find No Calling to Be a Lawyer

A paralegal degree can give you a glimpse at what it truly means to be a lawyer. By the time you work in a law office, you’d get to work with attorneys, see their everyday routine, and observe the challenges that the job entails.

You can only tell that you really want to be a lawyer when you’re consistently drawn to the work in a real-world legal environment. If none of the actual job motivates you, working as a lawyer may not be the career for you.

Finding yourself attracted to become an attorney because of the title’s prestige and the money is not real motivation. If any of the scenarios above reflects your own situation, you might be better off being a paralegal (at least for now).

Determining the Best Paralegal School for Your Law Career

ParalegalIf you dream to become a lawyer, one of the first steps that will help you become a successful practitioner is determining the best paralegal school for you. The institution that you will choose should help you build a genuine commitment to assist the people in need and give justice to whom it is due.  

Apart from this, some of the factors that you need to consider in choosing your school include (a) the paralegal program that is being implemented by the institution, (b) syllabus and courses or the curriculum, (c) location of the school, (d) offered internships and affiliated agencies, and (e) your career plans.

1. Paralegal Program

The program of the paralegal schools in your list must be accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA). This ensures that all the mandates of the schools comply with the standards of the ABA. In the future, after you finish your study, having an ABA-accredited school will help you find good-paying jobs. Remember that not all schools are ABA-accredited and qualify for paralegal certification.

2. Curriculum

Study and know if the professors in the school of your choice are practicing or former lawyers. Industry professional The Center For Legal Studies notes that the experience and knowledge of the professors are important in helping you mold your career.

3. Location

Most legal practitioners advise students to look for a paralegal school in the state where they want to work. The advantage of this includes being able to observe the legal practices and norms in the state and apply it to your studies.

4. Internship Program and Affiliated Agencies

Since internships help you build your confidence and gain real work experience in the industry, the school that you will be studying at should have a variety of internship programs. The schools should have contacts and affiliated agencies engaged in all the areas of law so that you can choose base on your interest.

5. Career Plans

Lastly, it is important to consider your career plans in choosing your school. Will the paralegal school help you finish your study in your preferred number of years? Will the school help you gain credits for your career? Does the school have a good if not the best program for bar reviews and examination?

Ways to Advance Your Paralegal Career

Paralegal

ParalegalAfter being recognized for being a hugely helpful profession in all aspects of legal work, whether it is in motion drafting, pleading writing, research, and other supporting tasks, the paralegal career is gaining popularity, with demand in the United States alone projected to grow an average of 17% until year 2022, faster than most professions in the market.

Ways to improve chances of being hired

It is an ideal passage to a legal career without investing the time and money a law degree costs. Anyone seeking to take advantage of this opportunity should consider the following skills and pointers in order to advance his or her career:

  1. Develop communication skills – Effective oral and written communication is fundamental to the practice of law, aptly called as the profession of words. As the lawyer’s right hand, paralegals serve as the main liaison officer between clients, other lawyers, and other parties to a case or transaction. It is also normal for him to be required to summarize voluminous papers and research materials. Clearly, the ability to communicate effectively must be honed through constant practice as in indispensable skill.
  2. Improve research and investigation skills – Research is another important paralegal skill. Studying traditional methods using primary sources and learning how to effectively use the Internet as a means to access legal research databases, among others, make one an ideal paralegal candidate. By boosting these skills, chances of getting hired are improved immensely.
  3. Take a paralegal certificate program – The advantages of advancing a career as a paralegal are not lost to many, and because there is no set requirements to qualify, any person with a bachelor’s degree can apply. Taking a paralegal course gives an intense introduction to the legal profession, giving the applicant an introduction as to what to expect on the job, and gives the applicant an edge over others. Taking the course shows an applicant’s enthusiasm and willingness to do well in the job by improving his skills even prior to appointment. According to com, you can get paralegal certificate programs online, leaving no excuse for anyone who wants to do well in the industry to start early.

By following the suggestions above, one can easily join the fray and take advantage of the many perks this profession has to offer. It provides not just financial rewards but opportunities to grow personally and professionally, promising a fruitful career path in the long run.

What Makes the Paralegal Field Attractive?

Paralegal Profession

Paralegal ProfessionThe demand for paralegals, according to the US Bureau of Statistics, is anticipated to grow in the coming years. The jobs in the said field are expected to increase by 17 percent over the next years, which is faster than the average for more professions. This alone makes the paralegal field an attractive industry, especially for those who want to work as a legal professional.

The higher job growth in the said profession is driven by law firms hiring more paralegals to lower expenses and increase efficiency. Companies are also expanding their in-house legal services with paralegals, and handing over tasks that were once accomplished by lawyers.

Job growth, however, is not the only reason the field is appealing. Getting a paralegal certification online provides excitement, variety in day-to-day work, as well as opportunities to earn a good living.

Variety at Work

One of the best things about being a paralegal is that your work varies every day. You will handle different projects, with tasks ranging from conducting researches to interviewing witnesses and attending a court hearing. Other tasks include preparing legal documents, performing trial discoveries, and assisting in pro bono cases.

Countless Opportunities

Getting a paralegal certification will also give you access to a variety of opportunities in the market. Apart from finding jobs in the law firm, you can also find opportunities in nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, insurance agencies, and government. There are also jobs available in title companies, detective agencies, and corporate legal departments.

Earn More

While paralegals do not start out earning a lot of money, you can still work your way up to earn a good living. According to a report from PayScale, a paralegal earns an average salary of $44,317 per year, with advanced legal skills associated with high pay for the job. Earnings can also be dependent on a variety of factors such as experience, specialty, and job location.

A paralegal degree will give you a competitive edge, in case you decide to attend law school. The skills and the knowledge you gained in the field will help you get through lessons and classes. You may also have narrowed down your field of study, so you won’t waste time in finding a major or specialty.

Paralegal Exposure to Actual Court Processes

Legal

Paralegal ExposureA skilled and highly efficient paralegal is expected to play various roles within the legal field. In a single firm, a paralegal acts as the right hand of esteemed lawyers and equally experienced practitioners. The task of the best paralegal schools in the country, then, is to make sure that they can produce graduates of such skill that lawyers’ tasks are made easier.

Here are the training of these legal assistants, researchers and paralegals before they are admitted to the profession.

Apprenticeship and Training

Paralegal aspirants must undergo training in both the academic and the professional level. Inside the school setting, paralegals analyze cases and build a familiarity of legal terms that will be used in the field.

In their apprenticeship and training, they witness actual litigation, case-building and court process first-hand – all of which are essential knowledge required in the practice of the profession. It is essential for a hopeful to enroll in paralegal schools that can provide such a high skill level of exposure.

Proper Tutelage

A good paralegal school will provide high quality education and guidance through its roster of faculty members and instructors. The legal profession, much like the philosophical discipline of old, thrives under proper tutelage and apprenticeship.

It is essential that in training, a candidate receives adequate guidance in building his knowledge and experience in the legal profession. This is why, as a paralegal student, you must expect training administered by professionals who have been honed by experience in the field.

Still, online paralegal courses, some of them free, can guide paralegal applicants, which are the distilled, 21st century version of the experience of those that came before.

Paralegals, Redefined

Paralegals, in the evolution of transnational and global legal perspective, play an even more definitive role. They are expected to create a specialization in certain fields. After one’s formal education and training, it is expected of a paralegal to further hone their skills and chosen specialization.

The key to a fruitful paralegal career is proper education and training. And to achieve that, choosing the best school is one of the most important decisions in your life.