A career in the legal field can be fast-paced, interesting, and rewarding, and many individuals interested in pursuing a legal career are interested in finding out about different paralegal jobs. With the training and education required for entry into the field, future paralegals have numerous options for which field of law to pursue as well as for what work environment is best suited to their own personal interest and goals.
Paralegal Career Preparation
As with many careers, there are a number of options for education for future paralegals to consider. Across the United States, future paralegals can opt to begin everything from a post-secondary certificate program to a master’s degree program to prepare for positions as legal assistants in a number of workplace environments. Generally, the higher the level of education, the more in-demand a candidate will be for positions with some positions requiring higher levels of education for entry.
In associate’s degree program, paralegal students typically take courses that include legal research, professional legal communication and writing, legal analysis, and business organizations. Additionally, a number of law courses are also completed, including criminal law basics, administrative law, litigation, trial practicums, real property claims and law, torts, and contracts.
Certifications and Professional Development
In many paralegal education programs, future legal professionals prepare for a specific area or expertise in the legal field, and this can be beneficial when beginning to determine a career path. Some of the specializations that a paralegal student might opt to develop include bankruptcy, social security and disability, environmental law, intellectual property, immigration, domestic relationships, and estates and wills administration.
In addition to a post-secondary level of education, paralegals in many states are also required to be certified legal assistants or paralegals by the National Association of Legal Assistants. For additional information on preparing for this certification, visit the NALA website. Additional certifications are also offered through professional paralegal associations and educational institutions.
Careers with Paralegal Education
Paralegals are an integral part of a number of legal tasks. From handling administrative tasks to taking on more trial work with preparation of documents and trial motions, paralegals are able to find positions with a number of different types of employers, requiring various levels of education and experience.
The majority of paralegals work in law firms or in government judicial offices. Additionally, however, paralegals can also find positions with insurance companies, corporations with in-house counsel, and in human resource departments. Paralegals are also able to find positions in educating, helping to prepare other future paralegals for the workplace from community colleges to universities. Common position titles include judicial law clerk, legal secretary or administrative assistant, legal aid program assistants for non-profit organizations, and paralegal. For additional information, visit the American Institute for Paralegal Studies.
Whether interested in working alongside a qualified attorney during a high profile trial or interested in working for a non-profit domestic abuse organizations, the need for qualified, trained, and certified paralegal professionals is continuing to grow. For any individual interested in a rewarding, in-demand career in the field of law, the different paralegal jobs that are available are a place to start in career and education planning.