Paralegals also known as legal secretaries or legal assistants work with attorneys in law offices, legal departments, and government agencies. They help lawyers do legal research, interview clients, write legal briefs, prepare cases for trial, conduct investigation, etc.
It is important to note that paralegals cannot give legal advice.
How to Become a Paralegal:
In the old days, legal assistants did not have to go to school. They got their training on the job in law offices. How things have changed.
To be a legal assistant today, you most likely have to go to school for training in the field. This paralegal training will take you from a few months to 4 years. The length of time will depend on the type of certificate or degree you want.
Getting a paralegal certificate may take you 3 to 6 months. Getting an associate degree in paralegal studies will take you up to 2 years. Getting a bachelors degree in paralegal studies can take you up to 4 years. There are even graduate studies in paralegal studies if you want to go that far.
If you manage to complete your legal assistant training, you can expect to be paid handsomely for your trouble. As of May, 2004, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the following median annual salaries for paralegals:
Federal Government: $59,370
Local Government: 38,260
Legal Services: 37,870
State Governments: 34,910
Paralegal is growing fast in the criminal justice field. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment in the paralegal field to grow faster than average through 2014. So this is a good time to get into the profession.
Most people in the paralegal field have normal 40 hour work week. If you work for a law firm and they are preparing for a pressing case, you may be required to work overtime. From time to time, you may be expected to go to clients’ homes for interview or investigation.Paralegal School:
If you are sitting on
the fence about being a legal assistant, we urge you to take action now.
It is a decision you will not regret. At least, request for a free
information, go over the information, and then decide if this is the
profession for you. You have nothing to lose.
Our recommendation for legal secretary school is Westwood College Online. Request their information by clicking this link.
Another one of our favorite schools for legal assistant education is Everest University. They offer associate and bachelor degrees in paralegal studies. You can request their free information through this link.
Criminal Justice Careers