What Does a Paralegal Do?

Seeking a career in this economy can lead many to wonder what areas will give them the greatest advantage when it comes to job security and challenge. Whether you would like experience in the legal world to see whether a career in law is for you, or if the doors opened via paralegal work attract you, the role of paralegal will give you an insider’s glimpse into what is for many a challenging and rewarding field. The benefits are myriad, with the pay for such positions being strong and the field growing at a healthy pace steady with incoming workers. For a career that may be entered with an associate’s degree, becoming a paralegal will appeal to many who are looking for the most value from their education.

The first question many people have when considering this role is: what is it that a paralegal specifically does? What are their responsibilities?

A Love of Research and Teamwork

A paralegal is in many ways someone who makes a law firm tick, working alongside lawyers to get casework done. Their responsibilities may include doing research and typing drafts of cases for lawyers, as well as organizing such files. Law firms can often work on one sector of the justice system, and depending on the office can take on many different tasks. In a corporate law firm, for example, clients include large businesses who are trying to rectify situations or acquire holdings. In the criminal justice system, documents may be required to be in order so as to make sure that the client has the best chance possible at a fair and balanced trial. As such a paralegal can make sure that the proper documents are in place to insure that not only is their firm in compliance with the law, but also so as to best to serve the needs of the client. For a good guide to what your potential duties as a paralegal would be, have a look at the website of the Association of Legal Assistants here for example: http://www.nala.org/Upload/file/PDF-Files/News-Articles/2009-FF-Job-Descriptions.pdf.

A Work Ethic That Stands Out

A law firm is a busy place, and is a major step in ensuring that clients receive justice or their due via the legal system. In this capacity, a paralegal needs to have a strong work ethic to keep up with the long hours of the legal world, as well as a good sense of ethics and responsibility to both the society they live in and the clients their firms serve.

Understanding Your Needs

For these reasons, a career as a paralegal can be highly rewarding — the pay is strong, and the work, while sometimes draining, can be very rewarding, and the creation of new jobs is holding at a steady pace. If you’re interested in working your way up the legal ladder few careers can show you what the field is like like that of a paralegal. Knowing if it’s a career that is right for you can involve looking into what your needs are as a worker and what you value in your work ethic.