Many people often ask what a paralegal is or what the position entails. What they fail to realize is that they are missing on a wonderful opportunity such as this. A paralegal faces different challenges and rewards that are on par with other professional careers.
Here are the things that people can expect should they pursue paralegal studies and career:
A paralegal course usually takes months to finish, unlike a bachelor’s degree that takes four years. Students can take this course online or during their on the job training. The course may serve as primer for a career in law or a requirement for an Associate of Arts degree. They will get a certificate after finishing the course. There are no exams for paralegals, so they can practice their profession right away.
Paralegals will naturally handle legal work most of the time. They assist lawyers in trials and conduct research to support their cases. They interview clients and draft various reports. Administrative tasks fall in their job description, as well. Those who are taking this course should hone their communication, writing, research, technical and organization skills.
Plenty of job opportunities
People who pursue paralegal studies have many job opportunities waiting for them. Apart from law firms, they can work for public and private sectors like real estate, healthcare, software and publishing industries. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects that demand of paralegals and legal assistants will grow by 17% from 2012 to 2022, especially for those who have working experience and computer skills.
Paralegals are among the highly paid employees in the US. BLS reveals that their median annual pay is about $46,990 in 2012. Their salary depends on the company and state. Paralegals in legal services earn $23.64 per hour while those in private sectors can earn about $30 per hour. California has the highest employment level while the District of Columbia has the highest concentration of jobs and salary for paralegals.
Here at CLS by BARBRI, we offer the Paralegal Certificate Course©. It is available in a variety of formats to suit your schedule and is offered through colleges and universities nationwide. Please check the course schedule to find a school near you.