5 Tips for Becoming Indispensable as a Paralegal

5 Ways To Become An Indispensable Paralegal

  • Specialize
  • Work Well With Others
  • Continue Education And Earn More Credentials
  • Learn The Latest Technology
  • Go Above And Beyond

Job security is important to students and established professionals alike, leading them to aim for becoming indispensable as a paralegal. Paralegals are generally in demand but the field can be competitive. In order to both obtain and keep job positions, paralegals need to consider the value they offer their employer. The following are some of the ways paralegals can become highly valued, indispensable members of their law firms.

Related resource: Top 10 Online Paralegal Degree Programs

1. Specialize

There are many areas of law and a key way of becoming indispensable as a paralegal is to specialize. For example, major areas of law include family law, criminal law, employment law, environmental law, intellectual property law and more. Within these areas are further specializations. Most law firms specialize in a particular type of law and clientèle. Paralegals that have a strong focus and passion in a specialty will be much more valuable to law firms working in that niche. Some paralegal degree programs allow their students to specialize, and currently-employed paralegals can focus on gaining experience in the niche they desire.

2. Work Well With Others

While paralegals may do much of their work alone, they must also be excellent team players. Most obviously, they have to work well with the individual attorneys they report to. However, they must also work well with all other members of a legal team, including other paralegals and attorneys at the firm, legal secretaries, clerks and other employees at the firm. A unified legal team that works well together is going to serve clients better and see greater success in the courtroom. Paralegals should also cultivate good relationships with judges, court clerks and other local legal professionals to increase the reputation of the firms they work for.

3. Continue Education And Earn More Credentials

Paralegals who continue to gain more skills, knowledge, and credentials throughout their careers are going to be more invaluable than ones who stop at their degrees. They can do this by attending seminars and events, participating in professional organizations, consuming relevant web content, reading books and more. In some cases, their employers may even provide these continuing education resources. Additional credentials can include certifications in specific hardware and software, as outlined below, or passing the exam to become a Certified Paralegal.

4. Learn The Latest Technology

One of the best ways for paralegals to become indispensable to their law firms is to become the firm’s tech guru. As more and more firms adopt a wider variety of hardware and software, they will be in need of employees who use that technology as though it is second nature to them. As the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, paralegals with solid computer skills, especially in database management, will have the best job prospects in the coming years.

5. Go Above And Beyond

This is true for all professions, including paralegals. Paralegals who go above and beyond for the attorneys they assist and their firm’s clients are going to be irreplaceable. Clients will enjoy working with paralegals they like, making those clients more likely to come back to a law firm for services. Paralegals can overachieve by being friendly and professional, by being empathetic, knowledgeable and easy to talk to. Paralegals should pay very close attention to their customer service skills and always strive to do better.

Paralegals are in demand, but extra job security is always beneficial to one’s career. All professionals in this field should work on becoming indispensable as a paralegal.