When people think about a law career, their first thought is often of lawyers and judges. We often see these professionals dramatically depicted in popular films and TV shows as they question witnesses, uncover evidence, and cast verdicts. But you'd be mistaken if you thought the legal profession was limited to judges and attorneys. Paralegals make up a significant sector of careers in the law field, assisting attorneys every step of the way.
Paralegals are legal assistants who provide support to lawyers. Although they don't actually give legal advice or represent clients during trials, they play a huge role in legal proceedings. They can interview clients and witnesses, conduct important research, and prepare court documents. The paralegal career is vital in the practice of law, and can be just as fulfilling and significant as any other law career. Is your interest piqued? Consider these five reasons to become a paralegal.
The median pay for paralegals has increased in recent years, with rising client demands, rapid growth rate, and new legal trends. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2010 median annual wage for paralegals was $46,680. Despite the economic bumps and recession, statistics show chances of the paralegal salary exceeding expectations. What's even better are bonuses and overtime pay you can receive for all the hard work. Do a salary.com search for paralegal salaries in your area and see if you like what you find!
Profession Demand and Growth
Becoming a trained and experienced paralegal gives you great job prospects in several sectors, be it government agencies, real estate companies, or corporate law firms. According to CNN Money Magazine, the paralegal profession ranked in the top 50 jobs in the United States. U.S. News says this of the profession growth: “The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 18.3 percent employment growth for paralegals between 2010 and 2020, adding 46,900 positions. The anticipated growth is leaps and bounds above that of lawyers.” Paralegals can increase revenue for a law firm, putting them in high demand!
Flexibility within the Law Field
A paralegal can choose to specialize in any area of the law that interests them most. When researching where to get your paralegal training, choose a program like Center for Advanced Legal Studies that not only has a solid core curriculum, but also offers elective classes that can allow you to gain skills in even more areas of the law and choose which areas interest you the most (contact us for more information about these exciting new electives and your ability to choose your areas of focus!). Being a trained and experienced paralegal means that you are qualified to focus on any area of the law and are always able to add to your skill-set and expand your specialty areas and experience.
Don't be mistaken in thinking paralegals are merely assistants to attorneys. They truly are the hands and feet of a law firm, always making sure what needs to get done gets done. As a paralegal, you can occupy a very signifcant and invaluable position in a firm, offering skills and performing job duties that are indispensable to the attorneys and other legal support staff. Don’t underestimate how how challenging and rewarding the paralegal career can be, or how highly-valued paralegals can be in their position. It truly is a prestigious and significant profession.
The Chance to Help Others
Simply put, paralegals help people. They help their employers be more efficient in their jobs, they can increase a firm's revenue and productivity, and they also help the clients. It’s a feeling of immense satisfaction to know that you're an irreplaceable part in the law field and making a huge difference in people’s lives.If you're interested in becoming a paralegal, Center for Advanced Legal Studies can help. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 800-446-6931, and we'll be more than happy to discuss the paralegal career or our paralegal programs with you.