How To Become A Paralegal – Starting A Paralegal Career

The demand for paralegal services has grown tremendously in the past few years. Many companies nowadays look to hire paralegals in preference to lawyers as a means of reducing costs. If you are looking to become a paralegal you can be assured that a bright career awaits you. But, the question that now arises is how to become a paralegal?

There is no formal education required to become a paralegal and most employers prefer to have professionals who have completed their formal qualification in the field. Needless to say, more knowledge means more job opportunities. Paralegals must be acquainted with all legal procedures and preparation of paperwork and verification of facts before cases or trials.

If you are firm on pursuing a career in the field you have a choice of around 600 schools and colleges to choose from. All of them offer formal paralegal courses. Generally, four forms of education or training are accepted when it comes to paralegal studies. This includes 4-year bachelor’s degree course provided by universities and colleges, Associate degree courses offered by community colleges, Master’s degree courses for an advanced knowledge in the field and certificate courses for people who have already acquired bachelor’s or associate degree but who wants to attain a specialization in a particular area.

Many paralegal programs are also available online. A few programs can also be completed in just a period of 8 weeks. Some junior colleges and online universities offer a 7-14 month course which is equivalent to your associate degree obtained in 2 years. However, do not forget to check the accreditation, job placement and testimonials for the educational institution you are getting enrolled with. You can even undergo an extensive paralegal training to add onto your resume. Gaining education and training as a paralegal gives you the confidence in your job as you come to know about your duties and responsibilities very well. Also, it will help you avoid any mistakes in the legal matters that you may commit while you are on the job.

Being a paralegal, your salary will be around $30,200-$48,760 per annum. Local governments, federal state, public sector and private law firms are the possible employers with whom you could look for the job opportunities.

Legal assistants can work independently and simply provide part-time assistance to the lawyers. They may also offer uncomplicated public services. Work-from-home opportunities are also available for paralegals as they can help many small law firms to complete their paper work online. The job opportunities are therefore immense once you become a paralegal. So, do not waste your time anymore and enroll for a suitable degree or certification course today!


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About the Author - Scott Salter
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