Starting Out as a Paralegal: What You Need to Know

a Paralegal in a law officeChoosing a career path may feel like one of the most crucial decisions you will ever make. There are many factors to consider, and it is normal to second-guess yourself.

If you are thinking of joining the legal realm because of shows like Better Call Saul and Law and Order, you should make sure that your interest is enough to fuel your career.

Experts at The Center For Legal Studies share that the paralegal profession is one of the fastest-growing jobs of today with many opportunities for an enriching career. The time it takes to gain a degree or certification, however, is still an investment.

Here are some details on working as a paralegal:

Job Description

In the most basic sense, paralegals help lawyers keep it together. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), their duties include preparing legal briefs, performing research, organizing trial notes, assisting attorneys in the courtroom, and even conducting witness and client interviews.

Most paralegal jobs are involved in civil lawsuits, real estate, contracts, and other cases. An aspiring paralegal needs to be organized, efficient, and detail-oriented to survive in the workplace. Responsibilities may vary depending on the supervising attorney and the size of the law firm.

Starting Your Education

There are different ways to become a paralegal, but the most common education choice is an associate degree, which takes around two years to complete. If you are already a degree holder in a different field, you may find programs that offer paralegal certification without the need for more years of schooling.

Being a paralegal is a rewarding career that opens many opportunities to gain competitive salary while helping other people. With this, you will be able to see what it is like to be in the legal department and get a sense of the current justice system.