Top Paralegal Careers
Resources on this page
Discover the critical role paralegals play in a busy law office environment.
Obtaining your associate's degree will allow you to work as a paralegal in any of these specialized areas of the law.
Network with other professionals and expand your job search by joining one of these professional organizations for paralegals.
Use these general job boards to look for paralegal jobs from across the country.
See What Paralegal Professionals Do
Paralegals assist lawyers by performing a variety of administrative tasks, such as organizing client files, preparing legal documents, and coordinating all law office activity. Paralegals are also responsible for helping lawyers prepare for trial by calling witnesses, investigating facts, reviewing laws, and drafting court documents like subpoenas, pleadings, and closing statements. Most paralegals work in private law offices, corporate legal departments, or for government organizations. Paralegals who work for independent lawyers often specialize in one area of law, such as criminal, bankruptcy, personal injury, family law and more. The most popular paralegal careers and their educational requirements can be found below.
Explore Popular Paralegal Specializations
Browse the following list to discover the most popular paralegal careers. The education requirement is the same for all paralegal specializations, with an associate’s degree as standard for entry-level positions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that the median annual salary of paralegals in 2010 was $46,680, and those who work in large cities for large firms earn more than paralegals in smaller cities and firms. Additionally, the BLS projects that paralegals will see national job growth of 18%, which applies to the paralegal field as a whole. To find out more about the potential for growth in your preferred specialization, investigate current trends by reaching out to paralegal professionals and associations, such as those listed below the following specializations.
Corporate Paralegal Jobs
This specialization focuses on the paralegal activities that involve various business and corporate laws, such as contract administration and commercial litigations.
Corporate Law Paralegal
- Job description: Corporate law paralegals work with corporations to ensure they comply with all operational laws and regulations.
- Why would I want to do this? Pursue a career as a corporate law paralegal if you have strong organizational skills and the ability to maintain corporate minute books and documents relating to shareholder agreements and company securities. Corporate paralegals also ensure that all necessary operating licenses are attained before business operations can begin. If you choose this profession, you should possess strong word processing skills for drafting lease, manufacturing, and employee agreements.
Criminal Paralegal Jobs
This concentration is concerned with paralegal tasks that occur during a criminal lawsuit, whereby an individual is prosecuted by the state or government for committing an illegal act.
Criminal Law Paralegal
- Job description: Criminal law paralegals participate in various administrative activities relating to criminal law cases such as arranging bail, obtaining police reports, and examining photograph evidence.
- Why would I want to do this? Choose criminal law if you have strong investigative skills and would enjoy examining physical evidence and reviewing search warrant reports. As a criminal law paralegal, you can anticipate assisting an attorney in preparing for criminal trials, drafting motions for arrest, closing statements, or trial memoranda. You should have a strong understanding of criminal laws and statutes.
Domestic Relations/Family Law Paralegal Jobs
This paralegal specialization is concerned with the legal activities involving marriage, divorce, custody, spousal and child support, adoption, domestic partnership, and more.
Domestic Relations/Family Law Paralegal
- Job description: Domestic relations and family law paralegals conduct administrative activities pertaining to family and domestic cases, such as gathering background information about income, residence, employment, and liabilities.
- Why would I want to do this? Become a domestic relations and family law paralegal if you have the ability to communicate tactfully in sensitive situations to help families through difficult legal matters and serve as a liaison between family members and attorneys. You should also have strong writing skills for writing domestic relations reports, petitions, and protective or custody agreement orders.
Employment Paralegal Jobs
This paralegal specialization focuses on workers’ compensation, labor relations, and employee benefits law.
Employee Benefits Law Paralegal
- Job description: Employee benefits law paralegals design employee compensation and benefits plans, such as compensation or stock options.
- Why would I want to do this? Choose this career if you have strong evaluative skills for testing pension plans for feasibility and fairness. You should also possess strong computer skills since much of their job consists of typing benefit plan summaries, compensation statements, and other administrative documents, which you will discuss with company executives. As an employee benefits law paralegal, you should have a strong grasp of state and government laws pertaining to employee benefits terms.
Labor/Employment Law Paralegal
- Job description: Labor and employment law paralegals work with companies to ensure they comply with all labor and equal opportunity employment laws.
- Why would I want to do this? Become a labor or employment law paralegal if you have excellent research skills, as you can expect to research the various types of labor and employee relations laws. You should also have strong organizational skills for collecting and maintaining company documents. As a labor and employment law paralegal, you can also expect to research unemployment laws.
Workers’ Compensation Law Paralegal
- Job description: Workers’ compensation law paralegals draft and file documents pertaining to workers’ compensation claims with the Industrial Accident Board (IAB) or the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC).
- Why would I want to do this? Choose this career if you possess strong interpersonal and multitasking skills to communicate with employers, employees, doctors, and insurance companies. If you choose this profession, you can expect to file appeals or requests for motion, so you should have knowledge of workers’ compensation laws. You can also anticipate researching workers’ compensation cases to find similar injuries in other companies.
Finance Paralegal Jobs
This paralegal specialization is concerned with all law office activities related to bankruptcy, collections, and investments.
- Job description: Bankruptcy paralegals work in law offices to assist clients who file for bankruptcy.
- Why would I want to do this? Choose to become a bankruptcy paralegal if you have strong analytical and math skills for reviewing debts. As a bankruptcy paralegal, you can anticipate helping individuals file for bankruptcy by preparing disclosure statements and ordering appraisals. Bankruptcy paralegals also work as the main point of communication between creditors and debtors.
Government Paralegal Jobs
This concentration area focuses on administrative, tax, public benefits, and immigration law offices.
Administrative Law Paralegal
- Job description: Administrative law paralegals ensure all procedures, laws, regulations, codes, and licenses created by administrative bodies such as government, city, state, county, and federal agencies are followed by the general public.
- Why would I want to do this? Become an administrative law paralegal if you have strong analytical-thinking skills and enjoy conducting investigative research. You can expect to conduct heavy research using government information systems, so strong technical computational skills are essential. Administrative law paralegals also prepare, type, and maintain legal documents.
Tax Law Paralegal
- Job description: Tax law paralegals organize and prepare various tax documents for companies, franchises, individuals, and small businesses.
- Why would I want to do this? Become a tax paralegal if you possess strong organizational skills for maintaining and filing records of tax returns and other related documents. As a tax paralegal, you can expect to calculate taxes, which requires a strong grasp on math. If you choose this career, you should also have an in-depth understanding of tax laws.
Immigration Law Paralegal
- Job description: Immigration law paralegals conduct various administrative tasks, such as maintaining documents and applications for immigration.
- Why would I want to do this? Choose to become an immigration paralegal if you would like to help individuals achieve citizenship or apply for a visa. Immigration paralegals should have strong knowledge national and international immigration laws, including extradition and treaty policies. You can also expect to work with clients who are facing deportation
Intellectual Property Paralegal Jobs
This concentration includes all paralegal activities that are concerned with the laws that have been established to protect intellectual property, such as trademark, copyright, federal patent, and trade secret laws.
Intellectual Property Law Paralegal
- Job description: Intellectual property law paralegals assist attorneys in litigation pertaining to trademark and copyright, in addition to monitoring client trademarks to detect violations.
- Why would I want to do this? Become an intellectual property law paralegal if you have strong administrative abilities to draft pleadings, case status summaries, and other related legal documents. Intellectual property law paralegals should also be familiar with the different types of intellectual property, which can consist of an idea, name, phrase, design, discovery, or invention. If you choose this profession you can expect to perform patent and trademark searches on government databases to determine if a trademark, patent, or copyright is available for use.
Litigation Paralegal Jobs
This broad concentration of paralegal studies is concerned with all activities that take place when a lawsuit is filed against another party and focuses on areas like alternative dispute resolution and appellate law.
Litigation Law Paralegal
- Job description: Litigation law paralegals work in law offices and gather literature for attorneys who deal with civil court lawsuits.
- Why would I want to do this? Choose to become a litigation law paralegal if you possess superior verbal and written communication skills for drafting various court documents and communicating with clients and attorneys. Litigation law paralegals also assist attorneys during alternative dispute resolutions, like mediation or arbitration. If you choose this career, you should have a strong understanding of civil court procedures.
Personal Injury/Medical Malpractice/Product Liability Paralegal
- Job description: Personal injury paralegals work in personal injury law firms to assist lawyers in filing and pursuing personal injury cases.
- Why would I want to do this? Become a personal injury, medical malpractice, or product liability paralegal if you would enjoy helping bring justice to wrongfully injured individuals. In this role, you can expect to maintain a client’s medical records and conduct investigative research to determine who is at fault. Additionally, you will help lawyers prepare for trial by arranging witnesses, interviewing doctors, and preparing settlement proposals.
Real Estate Paralegal Jobs
This concentration focuses on the paralegal activities in real estate, real property, foreclosure, and tenant and landlord relations.
Construction Law Paralegal
- Job description: Construction law paralegals meet with clients to review building plans and permits to ensure all construction activities comply with local and government laws.
- Why would I want to do this? Pursue a career as a construction law paralegal if you possess excellent communication skills and have an interest in construction and building activities. You should also be detail-oriented in order to review and summarize project logs ensuring all construction activities are documented correctly. You can also expect to review contracts and negotiate agreements between subcontractors and vendors.
Landlord/Tenant Law Paralegal
- Job description: Landlord/tenant law paralegals research laws pertaining to tenant/landlord agreements. They also review contract agreements and ensure both parties comply with the terms of the contact.
- Why would I want to do this? Become a landlord/tenant law paralegal if you have superior interpersonal skills to serve as the point of communication between a tenant and landlord. You can also expect to investigate a tenant’s past rental history to determine if they have received any complaints or eviction notices. Additionally, because landlord/tenant law paralegals must be knowledgeable of all tenant/landlord laws and rights, you should have strong reading comprehension abilities to continually read up on changing laws.
Real Property Law Paralegal
- Job description: Real property law paralegals prepare purchase agreements, coordinate with lenders, and review contracts for real property transactions.
- Why would I want to do this? Pursue a career as a real property law paralegal if you have strong verbal communication skills to effectively communicate with buyers, sellers, lenders, and insurance companies. You can expect to assist individuals who are selling or purchasing real property, like a home or land, by writing deeds, clearing liens, and transferring titles of ownership. Real property law paralegals should have a good understanding of real estate and financial terminology.
Foreclosure Law Paralegal
- Job description: Foreclosure law paralegals work with lenders of a property whose occupant fails to make the necessary payments.
- Why would I want to do this? Become a foreclosure law paralegal if you possess excellent investigative skills enabling you to perform title searches and review missing payments to lenders. You can anticipate drafting foreclosure requests and reports, so you should also have strong writing skills. If you choose this career, you can expect to work with banking or other financial lending institutions.
Paralegal Management and Administration Paralegal Jobs
This concentration focuses on law office management activities, including coordinating all law office procedures and hiring and training new paralegals.
- Job description: Paralegal managers recruit, interview, hire, and teach new paralegals how to perform various administrative tasks like drafting documents and maintaining client records. They also oversee all operational activities that take place in a law office.
- Why would I want to do this? Choose this career if you possess excellent leadership and organizational skills. If you choose to become a paralegal manager, you can expect to assign projects to paralegals and legal secretaries and act as a liaison between the paralegals and attorneys within a law office. Paralegals need several years of experience before they can obtain this higher-level management position.
Apply to Jobs Using these Resources
Discover paralegal jobs by browsing the following list of job resource sites. You can explore job openings through paralegal jobs sites, professional organizations, and general job search engines.
Professional Paralegal Association Organizations
These professional paralegal organizations allow you to discover the career opportunities available within the paralegal field, search for open jobs, and connect with other professionals.
NFPA – The National Federation of Paralegal Associations provides a career center page where you can explore paralegal job openings, learn about employment trends, and learn interviewing techniques.
NPA – The National Paralegal Association allows you to search for paralegal positions, sign up for job announcements, and post their resumé to be reviewed by potential employers.
General Job Search Sites
These job search websites allow you to search for paralegal jobs by using advanced search features such as location or job title.
Indeed.com – Indeed.com is a complete job resource that compiles paralegal jobs around the country and allows you to post your resumé for employers to review.
Monster.com – Monster.com allows you to explore job openings by location, job title, and company, while also offering various career resources like resumé-writing services.
SimplyHired.com – SimplyHired.com is a job board where you can browse through thousands of paralegal jobs, receive job alerts, and share your resumé with hiring organizations.
GlassDoor.com – GlassDoor.com allows you to compare salaries among available jobs and search for paralegal jobs using various criteria, such as full-time, part-time, and contract positions, as well as company rating.
CareerBuilder.com – CareerBuilder.com is a comprehensive job search engine where you can filter available jobs by city, state, and company. You can also access career advice boards.