As a paralegal, you can specialize by focusing on a specific law area. There are many different types of careers available in this rewarding field, so read on to learn more about the engaging possibilities.
As a bankruptcy paralegal, you will naturally focus on bankruptcy, a very complex area of law that is constantly evolving. Both people and businesses can file for bankruptcy, and the laws impacting both differ in many aspects. Some paralegals have a sub-specialty in either business or individual bankruptcy laws because of all of the intricacies. In your job as this type of paralegal, you will handle a lot of paperwork and gather documents, which could mean accounting or forensic research on your part.
A corporate paralegal handles all aspects of corporate law, from compliance monitoring to assisting corporations that are involved in lawsuits. In this field, you can work in a specific subarea, such as employment law or tax law. With all the statutes and regulations corporations have to deal with, this job can provide many challenges and a wide range of employment opportunities.
In your criminal law paralegal role, you will be dealing with laws and processes for criminal cases. You can work on either side of the bench, so to speak, for the court or for the defense. As with other paralegal careers, you can focus on one area of criminal law, like many attorneys do. These subsets include financial crimes, violent crimes or drug crimes. This is a potential choice for a passionate paralegal who believes in upholding fairness in the justice system.
Immigration law in the United States is incredibly complex, with many routes to citizenship, visas and legal immigration. The immigration paralegal helps individuals come to the country legally and also may work for the US government to enforce all the existing laws. These laws are constantly changing, so immigration paralegals are always learning and tend to be in high demand.
While it may sound a bit redundant, a litigating paralegal is essential in legal service. These paralegals specialize in the forms, procedures, rules and minutiae of federal, state and/or local courts. They make sure the attorney stays on top of the requirements and laws for handling actions in court, which allows the attorney to keep his or her focus on the case instead of worrying about deadlines or paperwork requirements. As a ligating paralegal, your role will be varied and crucial to the firm’s success.
In a job as a personal injury paralegal, you’ll be focusing on tort law, which is an entire section of the law that deals with misdeeds done by one party against another. This type of law usually doesn’t cover crimes normally prosecuted by a government entity, such as assault, but it could touch on such crimes if the victim decides to bring a civil case against the person who committed the assault. For example, if the criminal court finds the assaulter guilty, the victim could sue him or her in civil court for damages such as medical bills. This area of work tends to be fast-moving, providing a strong stream of work for the energetic paralegal.
You can get an advanced paralegal certificate in one or more of the careers listed above to jumpstart your entry into the field. With an advanced certificate, you’ll be able to study the areas of law you’re interested in more closely and in depth, making you more marketable to potential employers. Education can go a long way in the legal field, and you’ll be much more comfortable on the first day of the job with some knowledge behind you.