At Center for Advanced Legal Studies we’ve found students are interested in paralegal training most often because they:
Have an interest in the law
Want to help others
These are two great reasons to begin a paralegal career. One focuses on a life passion and the other on a significant purpose; two of the most important pieces to a satisfying life.
There are other reasons to become a paralegal such as: looking for a new career, thinking about law school but want to be sure, want a legal career but don’t want to go to law school, like a challenge, etc. Yet, having a love for the law and wanting to help others is foundational to them all.
Do You have an Interest in the Law?
You probably do, or know someone who does, or you wouldn’t be reading this. If you aren’t interested in the law then attending paralegal school is probably not for you. Paralegals, by design, do most of the same work that an attorney does. There are just a few exceptions.
Paralegals cannot set client fees
Paralegals cannot give legal advice
Paralegals cannot except or reject clients
Paralegals can do the following:
Manage Case Files
Investigate Facts of a Case
Write and File Petitions
Draft Correspondence and Pleadings
Attend and Summarize Depositions
Perform Legal Research
Assist an Attorney in Court
Prepare Trial Notebooks
Prepare Jury Instructions
…and much more.
These responsibilities require substantive, procedural, and skill-based knowledge of the legal field. If you don’t have an interest in the law, you can learn the skills and how to complete these tasks but you will be missing the passion required to excel and enjoy your work.
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
This saying doesn’t have to be true about your career choice, but it sure is nice if it is!
Do You Want to Help Others?
Helping others may or may not be foremost in your mind when choosing a career or looking at paralegal schools. Yet, if you think about it, you will probably agree that it is something you would hope to do.
Helping others is satisfying. It…
Develops leadership skills
Teaches you to develop good relationships
Keeps your mind working toward positive outcomes
Allows you to use your knowledge, skills, and talents to resolve issues
Increases self- acceptance and acceptance of others as you stretch yourself in new areas and learn more about others
In fact, it could be said that helping others is the bottom line to the entire paralegal job description.
A paralegal’s primary goal is to assist an attorney by using skills and knowledge to perform required work which, in turn, helps the client.
An example of this would be drafting a document or conducting a client interview that the attorney would otherwise do (helping the attorney), and at the same time supporting the client’s case with good skills and an excellent work product (helping the client).
Helping the Attorney
Attorneys hire paralegals in order to increase their profitability and relieve their time. This is done by utilizing good communication skills, practicing attention to detail, showing a solid working knowledge of the law, owning the necessary practical skills, and exhibiting an ongoing interest in learning and doing more.
People do not normally call an attorney with good news. Usually, a negative experience prompts a call from someone who is hurting, frustrated, confused or angry. Assisting clients with their difficult situations can be done best with good communication skills whether verbal, nonverbal or written. Listening well, understanding, explaining, and providing good, accurate information in a professional manner is necessary.
Combining your passion with your purpose are two good reasons to enter any profession. A paralegal with a good education, who provides an excellent work product, and has a positive attitude can make a difference in the success of the firm, the life of a client, and most of all, be gratifying for the paralegal!
Click the button below and find out more about attending our Paralegal Programs.