There’s no denying that a career as a paralegal is one of the most rewarding today. With numerous job opportunities, hefty pay, and the chance to contribute something meaningful to society and its justice system, more people are pursuing a career in the industry.
Given how more people are jumping ship to the legal industry, the competition these days has become increasingly cutthroat. The question of how to make yourself the most hirable in the eyes of lawyer-employers is a pressing concern among paralegals. This question often entails the great debate: education vs. experience.
Do employers prefer paralegals who know precisely what is found in the books, or are they looking for a more experienced paralegal to welcome into their growing law firm? Which holds more weight, knowledge or experience?
The Great Answer to the Great Debate
In our many years in the industry, we have observed that it’s not really a matter of choosing between education or experience. Rather, it is pursuing both. These two are essential elements in securing a job and improving your legal career.
Although the law does not require certification, holding a paralegal certificate will help you gain a competitive advantage over others who don’t have it. Employers will always see certificate holders as more competent, simply because they went through different courses and training. In most cases, an education is assurance that a paralegal can think critically—because they were trained in academically stimulating environments.
Experience is also valuable when it comes to securing a job in the market. Employers want people who are familiar with the realities of the paralegal career and not just the laws discussed in classrooms. They look for people who understand the firm’s business operations—people who can juggle the many responsibilities of a paralegal, from administrative tasks to legal research and witness interviews. Sign up for trainings. Internships can give you that first hand, real world-experience of what it means to be a paralegal.
Education and experience are your best assets in ensuring success as a paralegal. For more information about what else you can do to make your CV more attractive to potential employers, contact us today.