Paralegal Job Outlook
What can I do with a degree in paralegal studies?
If you earn a degree, you will be trained to assist lawyers and attorneys with a variety of legal tasks. For instance, some of the duties that paralegals are trusted with conducting include performing research, drafting legal documents, preparing court evidence and note-taking.
However, you need to be aware of the distinction between lawyers and paralegals. Many students are attracted to paralegal studies because they want to work in the legal field without the cost and time that is required to earn a law degree. And while paralegal studies may be the right choice for you if you do not want a lengthy and costly education, you should know that as a paralegal, you will not be an attorney. Instead, as a paralegal, you will help lawyers and attorneys to document meetings and to prepare for court cases. Although the tasks that you perform will be valuable, you should expect to have little independence since you will be working under the direction of an attorney at all times.
If you decide to get your degree, you will have a couple of educational options. Although most paralegals choose to earn associates degrees, which only take 2 years to complete, you can also earn bachelors degrees, which take 4 years. And if you do not want to complete a degree, you can get a certificate instead.
Will I be able to find a job right after I get a degree?
Paralegals are expected to be in high demand in the next decade, so you should be able to find a job without too much trouble after you graduate. However, your job prospects will be affected by the amount of education that you obtain. As a general rule, the more education that you get, the better your job opportunities will be. Therefore, if you earn a paralegal studies or legal assisting degree at the bachelors level, you will have a somewhat better chance of getting a job quickly than you would with just a certificate. However, a paralegal associates degree will also prepare you well for a job as a legal assistant, so you should not discount this option if it fits your circumstances best.
Can I still find a job if I get my degree online?
You should still be able to find a job if you choose to study online. A legal assisting online degree appeals to many students since it allows them to fit their studies easily into their schedules. Fortunately, there are a lot of reputable schools that have online study options. In addition, the majority of employers within the legal industry will accept an accredited paralegal online degree.
That said, if you are considering attending an online paralegal studies school, you should look for programs with certain qualities. For instance, the top online paralegal degree schools offer internships and practicums. Your job prospects will be better if you complete an internship along with your online accredited paralegal certificate since it will let you practice your knowledge and skills in a real work environment. Therefore, if you want to find the best paralegal degree online, look for a school with an accredited program that will place you in an internship.
What kind of work will people with degrees in paralegal studies do?
As a paralegal, you will perform a variety of tasks as you work under the supervision of lawyers and attorneys. But first, consider the term “legal assistant.” Sometimes people become confused about this term, which describes all of the legal professionals who assist attorneys. While people once considered paralegals and legal assistants to describe the same function, some states now define these professions differently. In such states, legal assistants is a term for legal secretaries and law clerks. If you want to study paralegal studies, you should check with your state to see what the paralegal profession means in your location.
Paralegals typically work in 1 of 3 settings. They can work in government agencies, corporate businesses and private law practices. But regardless of your state’s definition, paralegals should not be called legal secretaries, because they do more than simple administrative tasks. In this job, you will conduct research, interview clients and draft legal documents. You will need to be proficient with legal terminology and litigation procedures in order to do your job properly. But remember that paralegals are not attorneys. Therefore, they cannot represent clients in court, nor can they give legal advice to clients or sign the majority of legal documents.