Paralegal Studies

Students are enrolled in colleges and universities throughout the nation in order to pursue their dreams, utilize their talents, and improve the world for future generations. If you are one of these students, and you are unsure about your career path, you may be interested in learning about the numerous opportunities that a paralegal career has to offer.

Advance your written and analytical skills

Aside from earning a degree, you must also improve your writing and analytical thinking skills throughout your college career in order to succeed as a paralegal. By sharpening your skills in organization, project management, and attention to detail, you can easily transition from being a student to having a career as a professional once you walk across the podium and receive your degree.

Network

While you are still enrolled in a college or university paralegal studies program, you should strive to meet as many people in the legal field as you can. By joining a paralegal association, you will have an opportunity to meet various legal professionals, who will provide you with career tips, resources, and new networking opportunities. Networking contacts can offer advice and recommendations, and can also support you during your search for new opportunities to use your talents, education, and past work experiences to positively impact the legal industry. Networking can help you pursue more business relationships, mentorships, and new jobs.

Law firms utilize paralegal talent for project management services

Project management services are in constant demand by law firms. As a result, while handling large discovery requests, attorneys often seek help from their paralegals, who will supervise document review, especially at firms that do not have permanent project management teams or large discovery litigation.

Paralegals operate facilities that create web-based review systems

In 2007, the federal rules that governed electronic discovery (eDiscovery) were changed, driven by continued growth in litigation, as well as the explosion of electronic data in recent years. Paralegals are now needed to operate the remote, modular facilities that create paperless, Web-based review systems, as a process-driven model for electronic discovery, has been widely adopted, featuring the metrics and collaborative elements required to ensure a truly defensible process.

Experienced paralegals help law firms attain optimal success

Experienced paralegals can develop skills in organization, communication, delegation, and evaluation, making them just as effective as project managers. Law firms need to utilize the skill sets of paralegals to operate in an efficient manner.

As technology continues to evolve, paralegals can keep pace by increasing their knowledge of telecommunications, databases, Excel spreadsheets, and legal research software. In recent years, legal technology has created two new paralegal niches―litigation support and eDiscovery. By advancing their technological skill sets, paralegals will have a competitive advantage within the legal profession, as they successfully support law firms in both litigation and eDiscovery implementations.

By earning a degree and obtaining work experience through internships, you can have a highly rewarding and satisfying position as a paralegal professional. To obtain a position, you will need an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies, or a four-year degree in any discipline, in addition to a certificate in paralegal studies. By acquiring a high-quality liberal arts education, as well as a thorough understanding of the legal profession, you will be well-prepared for future career success.

What Does a Paralegal Do

As the name suggests, a paralegal is related to the field of law. They are not in mainstream legal procedures or lawsuits. A paralegal assists lawyers in things like interacting with the client for the first time, interviewing them, case preparation, legal research, courtroom assistance, draft legal documents, etc. A paralegal is a non-lawyer who assists lawyers in their day-to-day work.

Assisting lawyers can be one of the identifications for paralegals or they can have an independent status as license holders just like lawyers, who can offer legal services only in specific lower courts and administrative tribunals. However non-authorized paralegals cannot accept or present cases in any court, give legal advice, and set fees.

Law, being a very vast and complex field of profession, where all the details are kept in the mind while performing the duties, a paralegal is very helpful in assisting a lawyer and does the following:

– Interacting with the clients and interviewing them for the general basic requirements of a case, viz., facts of a case and interview the witnesses as well for their version of the story. Although this is not a very big deal which requires different set of skills, effective communication skills is one aspect which is very essential for the legal procedure, and takes up considerable amount of time from the lawyer’s schedule.
– Paralegals do the research work for every case with references provided by the lawyers, under whom they work. – Research also demands a huge chunk of time, which involves analyzing and organizing relevant material, gathering information, noting the key judgments, etc.
– Prepares documents for cases as well as for filing tax returns, drafting standard letters, for legal correspondence, letters for trust purposes, legal separation, contracts, agreements, etc.
– Paralegals also keep minute details of hearings, meetings, agendas, important deadlines, appointments, keep a track of the working hours spent on a case, etc.
– Preparing for the administrative formalities, making or procuring affidavits also come under the job description.
In the court, the paralegal helps the lawyer with the documents, handing them to him as and when he calls for it. Paralegals also help in filling up forms or petitions and thus rendering ample time to his boss to work towards the trial.
– Prepares written reports, attends court and administrative hearings and trials with the lawyer. Though most of the things that paralegals do may seem clerical in nature, they are of utmost importance in the whole legal arena.

The salary depends not only upon the size and strength of the firm he is with, but also the amount of work he is assigned among the ones mentioned above. Hope this article helped you in knowing what a paralegal does.