Five Study Aids for Paralegals
- National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA)
- American Bar Association Journal
- Bloomberg Law Podcast
- Harvard Law School Library
- Library of Congress Law Library
These publications and organizations not only benefit future paralegals, but they are also excellent study resources for paralegals who are already in the workforce. Paralegals are an essential and vital facet of the legal industry, and it is their support that allows attorneys to provide the best quality representation for their clients. Like the lawyers they assist, paralegals must engage in an extraordinary amount of research, and that requirement begins when the future paralegal enters school or begins studying to become a legal assistant.
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National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA)
The National Association of Legal Assistants was established in 1975 as a membership organization for the industry with the goal of providing continuing professional education for paralegals. The association boasts a membership of more than 18,000 paralegals who work across the United States. One of the benefits of membership with NALA is the opportunity to become a Certified Paralegal (CP), which may lead to career advancement. The CP program offered by NALA was established in 1976 and remains the national professional standard for modern paralegals.
American Bar Association Journal
All lawyers who wish to practice law in the United States must pass the Bar Exam, which is administered by the American Bar Association (ABA) in each state. The ABA also publishes its Journal that helps lawyers, legal assistants, and paralegals remain current on legal topics and decisions. Some of the subjects under discussion from which paralegals can gain valuable legal insight include cybersecurity and the law, judicial independence, and the impact popular media may have on the legal profession. According to the journal’s editors, more than half of the lawyers in the nation read the publication each week.
Bloomberg Law Podcast
The Bloomberg Law podcast offers an exceptional insight into major legal issues through interviews with legal scholars and prominent attorneys. Topics recently under discussion include the Supreme Court, legal cases currently impacting the Executive Branch of the government, and election fraud. One of the valuable facets of the podcast is that it doesn’t just cover The Supreme Court and criminal cases around the country. The podcast also discusses company mergers, antitrust cases, regulatory rollbacks, and Constitutional law.
Harvard Law School Library
Attending Harvard Law School definitely isn’t free, but using the Harvard Law School Library is mostly free for students, lawyers, paralegals, and anyone else seeking advancement in the field of law. Not only can users of the library access digital collections, researchers and students can also read through historical and special collections. Digital collections cover an amazingly broad number of topics that range from legal works published in international locations to the legal works published by historical lawyers, scholars, and judges of the past.
Library of Congress Law Library
A final ideal study resource for paralegals is the online repository of legal information maintained by the Library of Congress. Paralegal students can access a mobile-friendly version of the country’s legal codes, as well as an official record of the debates engaged in by the United States Congress. Visitors to the library can access information on a wide range of legal topics like child asylum seekers, air pollution regulation, and cryptocurrency regulation.
The legal profession is in a constant state of change, and paralegals must maintain knowledge of current methods, standards, and case law, as well as upcoming changes, legal challenges, and legal decisions. These five study resources for paralegals represent a mere handful of the resources available to paralegals and legal assistants.