Paralegal Industry

The paralegal industry offers promising opportunities and continued growth for those looking to enter the profession for the first time, change careers, or advance to higher-level paralegal positions. It is one of the professions that constantly demands workers, while other professional realms seem to remain constant or falter during economic downturns. Given the above average expansion rate of this profession, aspiring paralegals who want to enter the legal industry are finding that with the correct education and training, there are multiple job opportunities.

Top Three Types of Employers in the Paralegal Industry

1.    Law Firms: Small, medium and large-sized law firms hire paralegals to assist the firm’s attorneys. In addition to specializing in one or more specific areas of law, paralegals who work for law firms are often responsible for completing various administrative duties for one or more attorneys.

2.    The Government: All types of governmental agencies require the help of paralegals. Many paralegals work for local, state, or the federal governmental departments, such as those that deal with social security, welfare, criminal justice, and family law.

3.    Corporations: Most large corporations have legal departments and at least one in-house attorney. Paralegals are hired to assist the corporation’s attorney(s) and to prepare legal documents, to assist with lawsuits, and to handle legal documents related to human resources, employee benefits, and on-the-job injury cases.

Areas of Specialization

Most paralegals working in the industry specialize in one or two specific areas of law.

Some of the most common specialty areas include:

•    Real Estate Law
•    Criminal Law
•    Corporate Law
•    Tax Law
•    Family Law
•    Employment Law
•    Nursing and Medical Law
•    Patent Law
•    Immigration Law
•    Bankruptcy Law

Benefits of the Paralegal Industry
 
There are many benefits to working in the paralegal industry. First, there are opportunities to enter this professional field at all levels of experience. And, once a significant amount of working experience has been achieved, there are chances to advance into higher-level and higher-paying positions. Second, the paralegal field allows professionals who are interested in the law, but don’t want to attend law school, to work as important members of the legal industry. Third, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, paralegals can expect to earn an average of $50,000 per year after gaining a few years of professional experience. Most paralegals who work for law firms, governmental agencies, or corporations can expect to receive health benefits, paid vacation days, and sometimes bonuses.


  An article, Paralegal Career Outlook, discusses the paralegal profession as a whole, and describes it is as a strong and thriving industry. The reasons for the continued need for paralegals is that no matter how strong or weak the economy are centered around the fact that there are always legal issues that need attention. Because paralegals handle many of the same legal responsibilities as attorneys (except for actually “practicing law,” providing legal advice directly to clients, representing clients in court, and signing many types of legal documents that may be filed in court) paralegals are normally less expensive to hire than attorneys. Therefore, the paralegal industry is steady, strong, experiencing tremendous growth, and filled with many different types of professional opportunities.


For those that want to work in the paralegal industry, but do not want to work at a law firm, for a branch of the government, or for a corporation, there are other choices. For example, paralegals with a significant amount of experience can work as independent contractors or virtual paralegals who offer their services to law firms or attorneys on an as-needed basis. There are also paralegal positions available at real estate title companies, banks, hospitals, and any other type of corporation that deals with legal issues.

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