A Career as a ParaLegal or Legal Assistant

Paralegals and legal assistants do a variety of tasks to support lawyers, including maintaining and organizing files, conducting legal research, and drafting documents.

Paralegal and Legal Assistant

  • Media pay: $47,000 annually / $22 hourly
  • 18% job growth from 2010-2020

Paralegals, also known as legal assistants work with lawyers and assist them with court cases and other legal work. Although paralegals are prohibited from giving legal advice, they help lawyers with a variety of legal and office tasks.

Paralegals research, identify laws and develop arguments for lawyers to use in their cases. Paralegals help lawyers prepare for trials, hearings, closings and corporate meetings. Another important task for paralegals is to make certain that all applicable information is both accurate and factual. Paralegals are very involved in all aspects of the legal process and work directly with lawyers, clients and other legal administrators.

Although it is not required, many paralegals hold an associate degree in paralegal studies. Most paralegals are trained at community colleges or other paralegal programs. Program lengths vary in duration from a few months to two years. Some employers even offer on-the-job training.

Job prospects are expected to be excellent for paralegals over the next decade. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment for paralegals to grow 28 percent over the next 10 years, which is much faster than the nation’s average.

Paralegals must be detail oriented and research minded. They spend much of their time investigating files and validating the authenticity of claims. They must be great communicators in order to communicate with clients and report their findings to lawyers.

Paralegals are a very important aspect to the legal field. They assist lawyers and clients with finding justice in the legal system. Their research and hard work helps lawyers in successfully executing court hearings.