As we all know, lawyers are very busy people. They have tons of legal works and responsibilities to do everyday. Surely, they cannot handle that much work all on their own. To lighten some burden off their workload, lawyers choose to hire legal secretaries. Paralegals are appointed to do almost any kind of task assigned to them by their designated bosses.
Sometimes referred to as “legal secretaries,” paralegals are highly-trained professionals entailed to assist lawyers in various legal capacities. These people are trained in subsidiary legal matters but are not fully qualified to be called lawyers or attorneys. Nonetheless, paralegals must also have knowledge about the law and the procedures that are being followed in the legal system.
Photograph courtesy umjanedoan/Flickr, used under Creative Commons license
Listed below are reasons why one would opt to become a paralegal:
A Rising Increase in Salary
Paralegal Today magazine’s April/June 2011 issue, where the 19th Annual Salary Survey was conducted, showed some promising results. Drawing paralegal participants from all across the country, the survey reports that the national average salary for law firm paralegals in 2010 was a 1.3% increase from 2009, while corporate paralegal salaries obtained a 1.7% rise from the previous year.
The legal job market is quickly thriving, giving the paralegals a much higher pay than before. As their workload increases, their earnings also continue to rise. Hovering close to about $50,000 annually, the average paralegal salary is often lesser than what they make through bonuses and additional cash from overtime shifts.
High Employment Demand
Comprising the largest sector of legal profession, becoming a paralegal is among the most popular career choices in the legal industry. The paralegal field has a much faster-than-average employment growth, making paralegals one of the fastest-growing professions all over America. Due to the growing demand of paralegal professionals, a number of schools have started catering paralegal courses. The paralegal profession continues to grow as legal departments and law firms hire more of these professionals to provide the public more access to legal services.
Easy-to-attain Career Qualifications
To practice law, an attorney must go through about seven to eight years of formal education and pass the bar exam. Paralegals on the other hand, do not need to go to a law school in order to get a degree. A number of online programs offer courses for paralegals that are convenient and more accessible for those who prefer independent study in the confines of their own home. A bachelor’s degree in legal studies plus a paralegal certificate from an ABA-approved paralegal program are all it takes for one to have better employment opportunities.
High-level Thinking Skills
Anyone with a knack for some mind-twisting or problem-solving is most likely bound to enjoy working as a paralegal. This job requires innovative thinking in order to succeed. Each day in this field of study brings forth a new challenge for a paralegal to face. Skills in research and drafting are also essential for this task. A good legal assistant must also be updated with the latest legal trends and equipped with the knowledge of the law and its procedures.
Over the years, the rank of a legal secretary has been rising. Nowadays, paralegals are no longer considered as secretaries or assistants; they are seen as respected members of the legal team as well. These people are fully equipped to handle a majority of the jobs that lawyers, solicitors, and barristers do, making work more efficient and obtaining better results. Legal assistants now have a wider range of tasks to perform, paving the way for a higher, more respected position in the business world.
As one of the hottest jobs in the country, becoming a paralegal could be the start of a brighter future ahead of you. Why not decide on becoming one now?
TK is a writer for Paralegal-Info.net and shares his thoughts about the paralegal profession. If you are interested in a career as a paralegal, start by learning how much paralegals make. If you are further interested in pursuing a legal career that offers a bigger paycheck, you might want to see how much lawyers make. This article was written by a guest author. Would you like to, submit a guest blog post?