Paralegal jobs are suitable for people who want to be associated with the legal profession, yet do not have a degree in law. Being a paralegal qualifies you for almost all the duties of a lawyer, except for fighting cases in court. The job is satisfactory in every way offering high job satisfaction and a very good pay because you are in close contact with a variety of interesting legal cases and can observe raw legal action at close quarters. The exposure that you get working as a paralegal is also very useful in case you are studying to be a lawyer.
There is a reason for the recent boom in paralegal jobs. The state of the economy is one of them. Most law firms are cost cutting nowadays, and increasing the number of paralegals in the firm rather than hiring lawyers help them reduce costs in the form of the exorbitant lawyer fees. Many big firms are shrinking their attorney staff and using paralegals to fill the void. The same goes for clients. Most people, in their efforts to reduce the lawyer’s fee support the practice of maximizing the paralegal staff rather than attorneys.
The advantage of a paralegal job is that one can be secured without a formal degree. However if you want to continue to practice as a paralegal there are several steps that you can take to train yourself in order to become successful at your profession. The job market for paralegals has become competitive as it has improved in outlook thus you need that something extra that will set you apart from the crowd.
If you are interested in bagging a paralegal job, there are various training programs that you can enroll yourself in.
- First and foremost it is important that you secure a college degree. A bachelor’s or master’s course in any relevant field will be helpful for you in the future.
- Once you are certain that you want to be a paralegal, enroll yourself in a course which specializes in paralegal training. Paralegal training programs are available in community colleges. Once the course work has been completed you will receive a certificate.
- Paralegal training is also offered at law schools and other two year schools. Try to get into a school that has been approved by the American Bar Association. This will make you eligible for the top paralegal jobs.
- Once your formal training is complete, you can improve your credentials further by seeking for certificates from any of the three national paralegal associations. This includes the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA), the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA) and the American Alliance of Paralegals (AAPI)
- Next you can try your hand at internship that will let you learn the ropes of the profession.
- To be successful as a paralegal you should alos cultivate other skills such as writing abilities and personal skills.
- Make sure that your resume has all your qualifications and other skills along with a cover letter.