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Paralegals Making a Difference: 6 Ways A Paralegal Career Can Impact the World

Posted by Center for Advanced Legal Studies [CALS]

May 23, 2017 11:00:00 AM

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." -Margaret Mead

Business_Team_AdobeStock_52072109.pngOne measure of success is the ability to do meaningful work with a lasting impact. A paralegal career gives countless opportunities to make a difference in the lives of many people. The role of the paralegal in the legal field often directly intersects with individual lives, local communities, and even the future direction of the law.

When we think of paralegals who changed the world, most people are familiar with the work of Erin Brockovich in spearing the effort to help those affected by contaminated water, or the whistleblowing activities of Merrell Williams in bringing down the deceptive practices of the Tobacco industry. Yet, the day to day work of countless, unsung heroes is a common theme in the paralegal profession.

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Topics: career, paralegal skills, featured

What do Paralegals do? The Growing Trend of Non-Traditional Applications of a Paralegal Degree

Posted by Center for Advanced Legal Studies [CALS]

May 9, 2017 2:20:00 PM


It is an exciting time to begin a career as a paralegal. In recent decades, the paralegal profession has continued to grow and expand into new, nontraditional fields. As we discussed previously in our blog, the rate of paralegal employment is expected to grow 8% from 2014-2024.1Business Meeting.png

The emergence of new industries and increasing efficiency in the legal industry has led to a higher demand for paralegal services.2 This trend is not new. The National Federation of Paralegal Associations expressed that this job growth is occurring in nontraditional environments, outside of traditional law firms. As we have reported before, tech companies such as Amazon are calling paralegal and legal assistants a “high demand field” and including tuition reimbursement for paralegal programs.
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Topics: career, paralegal skills, featured

Endless Opportunities for Paralegal Employment

Posted by Katie Fridsma

Dec 17, 2013 9:03:00 AM

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:

Contracts Administrator  Paralegal career opportunities

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!

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Topics: graduates and alumni, career, technology, paralegal skills, education and training

It’s a Wonderful Time to Be a Paralegal!

Posted by Katie Fridsma

Nov 26, 2013 3:01:00 PM

By Thomas B. Swanson, J.D.

Let’s take a look back in time…

During most of the history of the practice of law, legal documents were handwritten by skilled paralegals first known as scribes and later as scriveners.  Legal documents during this period were customized, and the quality of the handwriting, in addition to the content, was important.  In other words, legal documents were distinctive, in part, because the handwriting added an artistic quality.  Beginning in about 1900, this was to change in a major way with the introduction of the typewriter.typewriter for paralegals back in time

The typewriter offered not only much greater efficiency with respect to the preparation of legal documents, it also established a much greater uniformity.  The distinctive handwriting of the scrivener gave way to a new consistency in format and a greater focus on content.  The result was no less than a transformation of the practice of law, as well as the role of the paralegal.  The “Perry Mason/Della Street” era in the history of law practice had begun, and the legal secretary became the primary non-lawyer presence in the law office. 

A change in skill-sets…

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Topics: online classes, career, paralegal skills, education and training

5 Things All Attorneys Expect from Paralegals

Posted by Katie Fridsma

Nov 20, 2013 12:05:00 PM

When I became a paralegal in 1984, it was very common for paralegals to sit at their desks all day with their headphones on and type a variety of documents such as motions, pleadings, and correspondence, dictated by an attorney via the Dictaphone.  The role of the paralegal has since evolved from secretarial typists or transcribers to highly qualified staff members who perform a variety of tasks to support lawyers, including maintaining and organizing files, conducting legal research, and drafting documents. 

Since the paralegal profession has evolved to include more substantive legal work, those wishing to become a paralegal usually seek formal training to gain the legal knowledge necessary to work alongside an attorney.  But in order to really excel in the paralegal profession, there are several characteristics and skills that are important to possess and develop in addition to legal knowledge.   After working as a paralegal, I went to law school and became an attorney and employer of paralegals, so I’ve seen first-hand the characteristics and skills that make a paralegal exceptional.  Here are 5 things that every attorney expects from his or her paralegal:

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Topics: career, paralegal skills, education and training

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