Do you have an interest in the law but no interest in spending eight years becoming an attorney? Then a career as a paralegal may be right for you. Paralegals are really important members of legal teams and often perform tasks that were once done only by lawyers.
What would I do?
As a paralegal, you would need to perform a wide range of tasks to assist the attorneys you work for and their clients. You would probably have a lot of administrative and secretarial responsibilities, but you’d also handle legal work on behalf of your attorney. For example, you might manage cases by coordinating all the aspects of the various cases your attorneys handle to make certain all documentation is in order and deadlines are met.
Another important job you’d have would be to assist with research. You may need to explore the facts of a particular case you’re working on or research legal decisions to see what happened before in similar cases. Precedence is a crucial part of the American legal system and you’d need to become familiar with previous decisions and the laws affecting them.
You might also write correspondence, draft pleadings, prepare responses and discoveries and use the most current computer software to make certain that all of it gets done in a timely manner. You would be the right hand man (or woman) of the attorneys you work for.
What skills would I need?
Can you multi-task? As a paralegal, you’d need to be able to keep the facts of several different cases straight at once and shift between them. You would also need incredible attention to detail because if you make a mistake, it could adversely affect your clients and the outcome of their cases. You need to be a great communicator, whether you’re speaking, writing or listening. And you need to be able to follow directions well, from your clients, attorneys, and other legal professionals.
Where could I work?
Paralegals work everywhere lawyers do! Find an area of law that interests you and that could be your specialty. Among your many choices in law are civil, contract, corporate, criminal, entertainment, environment, family, health, immigration, insurance, labor, privacy, public health, real estate, tax and more. You could work for private firms, corporations or governmental agencies. Where do you want to work?
If you’d like a career in a respected profession, give us a call at Career Quest Learning Centers in Lansing at 877-481-4930 or Jackson at 877-365-8144 to learn how you can train for a legal career.