Paralegals and Legal Assistants play an important role in a law firm
Did you know there are over 1.3 million lawyers in the United States, according to the American Bar Association? Part of what comes with lawyers and law firms is the need for other employees such as paralegals and legal assistants.
Are you interested in learning about a paralegal career? Many paralegal training programs can be completed in less than one year, and can prepare you with the skills you need for an entry-level job in a law firm, government agency, or private corporation.
Here are some of the reasons why people choose this field:
Reason 1: You can work in the field of law without the time, expense, and commitment of attending law school.
Paralegals can do rewarding work in a law firm. Their responsibilities might include assisting in legal research, preparing legal correspondence, drafting agreements, and cataloging important documents. While they will not earn as much as lawyers, and while they can be assigned some repetitive work, paralegals still have important responsibilities. Their training can be completed in less than one year, making them ready for the job market much faster than attending law school.
Reason 2: You can work in a professional office environment.
Compared with many work options—whether it is working outdoors, working in food service, or working shiftwork—the opportunity to work in an office environment during regular business hours can be a big benefit. Many people feel a sense of satisfaction from dressing professionally for the job, and working in an environment with other professionals.
Reason 3: It’s not just a job…it’s a career that should make you proud.
The field of law is a career field that can make you proud. You have the opportunity to work alongside attorneys and learn about the complexities of law, whether it is criminal law, real estate law, tax law, personal injury, workers’ compensation, or whatever specialty your law firm handles. Think about it….not everyone knows what a deposition is, or a pleading, or a writ of summons, or a lien letter. But you will. And you should be proud of what you have learned!
If you are interested in pursuing this career field, be sure to explore the job outlook in your particular geographical area. Search job ads to be sure that firms are hiring paralegals/legal assistants in your region.
Next, find an accredited training program. Take your time in researching the schools. Make sure that they have a strong job placement rate after graduation. Take a tour of the school, and ask to talk with a graduate of the program to hear their impressions.
Most diploma programs can be completed in about one year, although there are options for 2-year associate’s degree programs and 4-year bachelor’s degree programs. You can decide which level of training you want to pursue.
Most programs provide courses in the following areas:
- Office administration
- Wills, trusts, and estates
- Family law
- Real property law
- Legal research
- Criminal law
- Legal writing
- Tort law
- Commercial law
- Civil litigation
- Legal documents
If paralegal training sounds interesting to you, it may be worth pursuing. Take some time to research the training and employment options near you, and then if you are ready, take the plunge!
This article was provided by the Branford Hall Career Institute. Branford Hall is proud to offer a career-focused Paralegal training program at its campuses in Branford, Southington, and Windsor, Connecticut. If you are a Connecticut resident, find out more about our school by contacting us online.