Paralegals are among the highest paid professionals. The demand for the profession is expected to grow at a rate higher than most jobs until 2022, which makes it one of the most sought after jobs. Before you jump the bandwagon though, these are some things you can expect once you land a paralegal position.
1. Large array of tasks
While paralegals are normally seen as assistants of lawyers, in reality paralegals do so much more. Paralegals are involved in legal research and presentations. One of the most important roles of a paralegal is to assist attorneys in trials, hearings, and depositions which require a lot of preparation. This includes researching the facts of the case, available pieces of evidence, judicial decisions and precedents, and legal articles. Thus, daily tasks will vary according to the caseload.
In addition to the duties above, paralegals are also expected to handle administrative tasks such as filing pleadings, answering phone calls, booking trips, and organizing a lawyer’s schedule.
Paralegals talk to a lot of people. Interviewing clients and witnesses is an important aspect of a paralegal’s job. They normally do the initial interview of witnesses and clients before they are presented and court, and then prepare a memo to summarize the results for the lawyers to have an initial idea of what to expect and where to focus on.
3. Need for managing skills
Paralegals do not have a fixed job description. They are expected to multi-task and adapt to the needs of the firm. They have to manage other people when outsourcing or assigning tasks become necessary and juggle the time for various activities including attending trials with the attorney, doing office work, and finishing research requirements.
A paralegal’s task is not easy but definitely worth the hard work because of the rewards and benefits, monetary and otherwise. If you are up for the challenge, you can start training today. While there is no fixed requirement, certificate courses both from brick-and-mortar institutions or online schools like The Center For Legal Studies can help you have an overview of the justice system and the law as well as a more in-depth introduction to the industry.
The opportunities for paralegals are expected to increase over time, and preparation is key if you want to take a slice of it.