Lawyer’s have assistants that are known as paralegals or legal assistant who help with lawyer’s work but are not licensed law practitioners. Paralegals help lawyers prepare for court appearances and meetings and as such are highly knowledgeable of the ins and outs of legal proceedings, cases, and trials. Their aid is vital in making sure that lawyers accomplish their tasks in a timely manner
Despite not being licensed to practice law, and not being allowed to perform tasks that require a lawyer’s license, paralegals can participate in legal proceedings do have the opportunity to be in the courtroom during trial proceedings. They also benefit from an industry that grows and comes with a great paycheck. It is a secure job that will never lose clients because new lawyers come out each year fresh from the Bar. The paralegal career has several avenues of growth just as there are several specializations for lawyers like corporate law et al and the pay is commensurate with the specialization.
Your opportunities as a paralegal will grow over time. The most experienced, trained, and capable paralegals usually earn significantly more money and enjoy a better selection of available positions. Paralegals with years of experience and training are in high demand. Also, paralegals with experience in a specific niche, such a real estate or corporate law, are highly sought by employers in that field. Salary is also commensurate with experience in the field so the longer the paralegal stays in the job, the higher the paycheck. These, among others are part of the job description of a paralegal.
The job description of a paralegal will include clerical work such as research, analysis, collation of research data and information, preparation of reports and legal documents, writing up contracts, event coordination, preparation of itineraries, file maintenance, preparation of the tax reports and business correspondence. The non clerical portion of the paralegal job description includes assistance that must be rendered to the lawyer during court proceedings, and answering phones. There is never a dull moment in the 40-hour work week of paralegal. The job description of a paralegal will also vary depending on the lawyer who is employing the legal assistant and whether or not they are working for the government.
The candidate must have the education and training necessary to become a paralegal. Fortunately, it does not take as long as that of lawyers to complete the training. It will help if the candidate has a degree and certifications. Just as with other demanding professions, education is a life long part of the paralegal’s life. Continuing education is important in securing employment and to move up the ladder in the law firm.