Few of us realize that lawyers and justices also have their assistants to help them with their paper works and research. These people actually do provide support and administrative jobs to legal personnel so they play their crucial roles in supporting not only the lawyers but also the clients of the law firms. Here, we are talking about the paralegals. Becoming a paralegal is actually more than doing legal executive and administrative jobs for people that are involved in the legal system. You must also have an interest in the concepts of laws, legal values and must have discipline to carry your tasks accordingly.
If you ask what qualifications one must have to become a paralegal, read on and discover the essential requirements on how to become a potential paralegal. First, you need to have some relevant law experience. Most law graduates usually apply for paralegal jobs once they graduate from their colleges or universities to support themselves or to gain experience. If you are a college graduate of other course, you can also enroll for a certificate or a short program for paralegal studies. So becoming a paralegal is a profession that is not hard to achieve. However, if you will be getting a degree on paralegal, make sure you have earned good grades from your previous school and can show excellent performance with your training because competition is now high among those who are vying to become paralegals.
The Jobs of Paralegals
The tasks of a paralegal usually involve day to day details that regards to attending legal cases. The job can also involve the preparation of legal documents for the legal officers and their clients, and there would be lots of times that a paralegal must conduct research and interview clients and witnesses. So documentation is also an essential part among the tasks that paralegals regularly do. The documents he creates and organizes can be used in supporting clients with their court cases. Paralegals must also attend court proceedings and monitor developments so they must be alert and resourceful in deriving important documents. They can also help clients with their queries and provide advice about court procedures. So if we surmise all the tasks of the paralegals, they are the ones that typically do clerical and administrative jobs for the legal courts or law firms.
However, it is not enough that someone who has earned a degree in law or completed a certificate in paralegal that he can be an efficient paralegal. A reliable paralegal must be able to analyze and comprehend complicated information so that he can form a systematized organization of data which will be useful for lawyers in understanding their clients’ cases. He must also be efficient in meeting tight deadlines even under pressure. So whoever aspires to become a paralegal, he must have the drive to become a disciplined and patient individual plus the need for a law background which is essential for his job.
What People Think About the Job
Because the jobs of the paralegals are closely tied up with the lawyers’ jobs, some people see paralegals as the glamorous types of secretaries. And one factor why people see paralegal jobs as fascinating, it is because this job also does provide a rewarding career. However, just like any other employee who is new to his job, it is usual that a junior paralegal will be earning less than a senior paralegal. So experience wise, seniority is already an accepted norm among paralegals. The wage may also depend on the firm that a paralegal would be working for. Top-level law firms would normally provide greater financial opportunities to their paralegals while the new law firms may just provide the standard wages for their paralegals.
If you want a rewarding and exciting career and wanted to work in the legal system, you can consider becoming a paralegal and make it as your lifetime career. On the other hand, the work of a paralegal may vary depending on the firm that he would be working for. To give you an idea, here are some specifications on what paralegals usually do base from their employers’ businesses.
- Corporate Firms. These firms need paralegals to be responsible in organizing and filing shareholder agreements, employee contracts, benefit plans and stock-option plans. The paralegals will be in charge in the preparation of annual financial reports and in the monitoring of federal regulatory guidelines for the industries that the firms are connected to.
- Insurance Companies. You may spend more time working for your company’s attorneys and employees with regards to their personal injury claims and insurance liabilities. You will also do legal researches about your clients’ insurance coverage so most likely you will do a lot of computer work and facilitation of your company’s legal documents.
- Organizations or Institutions. Your most likely job would be to provide legal aid to your organization such as completing and facilitating legal documents as required by the court in case your company gets involved with any case. You will also be responsible in keeping updates and doing errands for the organization’s lawyers.
- The type of jobs that a paralegal can do sometimes depends on the firm that will be hiring the service of a paralegal. But generally the tasks include what were specified above. To top it all, we can surmise that becoming a paralegal will be most feasible if the job is of your great interest so it’s up to you now if you want to earn a certificate or a program on paralegal studies.