CALS is a paralegal school that has specialized exclusively in the education of paralegals since opening our doors in 1987.Read More
Whether you’re interested in a paralegal education or already a paralegal, you may be wondering what jobs are available for paralegals. What if you are not interested in working as a traditional paralegal? Are you looking for something different, but don’t know what else you can do with a paralegal certificate or degree? Here are just a few related jobs that applicants with paralegal training can branch into:
Do you enjoy reviewing contracts? A contract administrator makes sure the parties involved practice due diligence and comply with the terms, conditions, rights and obligations of a contract. He or she also coordinates any changes to the agreement that might occur over the course of the contract and performs the closeout process when both parties have met their obligations. If you loved your Corporate and Business Law class, then this may be an area of interest for you!
1. Connecting to the Law
Her parents might say that she likes to argue, but Gretchen Trower enjoys questioning, researching, and building her case, which makes her well-suited to a paralegal career. And she just graduated from Center for Advanced Legal Studies and is in her second month as a paralegal, the profession that she has dreamed about for almost 20 years.
It was in an undergraduate political science class at the University of Missouri where Gretchen's passion for the law was sparked. She became very interested in how the law affects government policy and society. The connection between courtroom decisions, policy, and people’s everyday lives made her want to become a lawyer. She began to study for the LSAT, the entrance exam for most law schools. But her plans changed after marrying a soldier she met while serving in the military.
As someone who helps graduates find employment, the one question I get asked the most by students is “How am I supposed to gain experience when most employers won’t hire without it?” Students in all schools face this dilemma when they near completion of their education. Even students in paralegal programs. So, how can you gain work experience when no one will give you a chance?
At Center for Advanced Legal Studies (CALS), students have the opportunity to complete an externship at a law firm or legal department in order to gain experience they can include on their resumes. But not all schools provide this experience. If not, don’t get discouraged. Stay positive and pro-active. Here are 5 ways you can escape the proverbial Catch-22 between experience and employment. (Note: this blog post is aimed specifically toward paralegal students/graduates, but can apply to all college graduates!)
David Mosier had already been working as a paralegal for decades when he enrolled to be a student at Center for Advanced Legal Studies. David was in the litigation support industry, and the job prospects were withering due to a declining economy. As an independent contractor, it was becoming increasingly difficult to land jobs.
A Legal Background
Ironically, David's father is one of the most prominent real estate attorneys in Harris County. Why did David not follow the well-worn footsteps of his father and become an attorney?
It certainly wasn't for lack of trying on his father's behalf. When David was in high school, he would help out at his father's busy law practice. He learned how the office ran and a little bit about the practice of law. But David went to college for music education, until life happened and he needed to drop out of school to take care of his new family. His father encouraged him to finish college and then go on to law school so David could carry on the family business.
But David chose a different path to the legal field. Since he already had a “mild background in the legal industry,” he and his brother started a litigation support business. For 25 years, that was enough, but five children later, David needed better security and a chance to make a better living.
"As a paralegal, become indispensable." These are the words of Center for Advanced Legal Studies’ Academic Dean, Tom Swanson, to a class of new paralegal students which includes Andrea Keprta. Andrea looks up, waiting to see if another story is on the way. "Let me give you an example," says Swanson, and the students put down their pens and drop their hands from their keyboards to listen, riveted as one of their favorite instructors relates matters of the law and the paralegal profession.
Paralegals can take several different paths to enter the legal profession. These typically involve different levels of education, on-the-job-training, and certifications. Where paralegals work and what specific tasks they perform, however, depends on the kind of skills, experience, and education they have.
Sometimes just making a few adjustments to the way paralegal students think about, plan, and prepare for class can make all the difference. Here are a few study tips that might help you along your way.
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