A Paralegal

A Short Guide On Becoming A Paralegal

If a career with a great deal of future growth and job security is all you want, the legal field offers great promise. With just two years of study, you can begin the prep work necessary to become a paralegal and assist attorneys.

Once you have your Associate degree, you may look for work as a paralegal while you work on your Bachelor’s. There are also Master’s programs for this vital career.

Getting Started

No matter your location, the question of how to become a paralegal can be answered and simplified by reviewing the online options through reliable sites like ParalegalEDU.org. As noted above, you can start your paralegal studies with a two-year Associate’s degree, which you can do online through several schools.

Once you start your studies, it’s time to put in applications with local legal firms. Getting a foot in the door can be as simple as getting a job as a part-time runner or mail clerk for a law firm while you work on your degree. With a foot in the right door, you can be prepared to move up in the legal world as soon as your training is done.

Understanding the Job

The work you do as a paralegal will be in direct support of an attorney. This may include

  • filing documents
  • managing calendars
  • legal research
  • drafting and editing documents

While working on your paralegal training, consider also building skills in grammar, tracking software, and time management. Legal offices can be quite intense workplaces, so learning to manage your personal stress response can help you be a valued member of the team.

Attention to detail is critical; while your work will all need to be approved by the attorney you support, you don’t want to rely on them as a proofreader.

Hone Your People Skills

Many of the people visiting an attorney’s office may be under severe stress. They may be in the midst of a contentious divorce, facing prosecution, or dealing with the death of a loved one.

While working on your training as a paralegal, you can also make yourself a more valued team member by focusing on promoting calm. While you can’t promise particular outcomes for a client, you can learn to interview a troubled client and dig down to the real source of their problem. Build your language skills, particularly if the attorney you support works in the immigration field.

Poised for Growth

Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job opportunities for paralegals will experience a great deal of growth through 2029. Additionally, paralegals can do some tasks remotely. Depending on the attorneys you support, this field can offer both flexibility and stability.

With just two years of schooling, you can get started in the legal field. Be prepared for more schooling if you want to advance within your field or change your focus. Be prepared for intense training to specialize in one field in particular suits you best.

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