The career I have chosen to pursue an education in is paralegal studies and upon completion of my education I intend to become a paralegal or commonly known as a legal assistant. I will be writing about the responsibilities, growth trends and salaries that paralegals have. I will also give information about how to enter the paralegal field and how to be promoted in it as well as the lifelong learning opportunities you can gain by choosing a career in the paralegal field. I will also give information about what expertise is required for success in the paralegal field as well as a self-evaluation of what I feel my current level of knowledge in regards to the paralegal field is.
There is an abundant amount of responsibilities and duties required to be a paralegal. The National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) states that those responsibilities are to conduct client interviews and maintain general contact with the client, locate and interview witnesses, conduct investigations and legal research, draft legal documents, summarize depositions, interrogatories and testimonies, and to attend executions of wills, real estate closings, depositions, court or administrative hearings and trials with the attorney. Although the amount of requirements it takes to being a paralegal are many there are very rewarding aspects to becoming a paralegal.
One of the benefits of earning an education to become a paralegal is that employment opportunities are growing. Traditionally law firms are the main employers to paralegals but government agencies and also large corporations have started to hire more paralegals due to the fact that they are cheaper than lawyers. (Bureau of Labor Statistics 2012) Paralegals are expected to have an 18% employment growth rate over the next ten years according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (March, 2012). Not only does becoming a paralegal have a healthy employment rate, with more and more versatile places for employment being established but the pay is worth the effort.
The average amount earned yearly by paralegals in 2010 was 46,680$ that adds up to around 22$ an hour. (Bureau of Labor Statistics 2012) As in any job there are many factors in what affects someone’s pay. For example, if I work in Norfolk as a paralegal I am going to most likely make more than a paralegal working in a smaller town. There is more demand and population at firm in a bigger city than there is in a smaller town so naturally the person working in the bigger town would make more money. It is also good to keep in mind that entry level paralegals do not make as much when they are just beginning. According to the Bryant and Stratton information webpage average income for entry level paralegals is 28,798$. Regardless becoming a paralegal is a very promising career choice fiscally.
Starting an education toward becoming a paralegal isn’t an easy one, but it is not an entirely difficult one either. Here are some of the requirements you must have before you...