Students interested in jobs dealing with legal services but don't want to spend eight years in school to become a lawyer may be interested in work as a paralegal. Paralegals have flexible job opportunities in the area of law. While they cannot present cases in court or give legal advice, they can do other legal work. Their main job is to assist attorneys. This could include providing assistance in trials, organizing case files, locating witnesses, researching legal documents, helping prepare legal arguments, and drafting contracts. Paralegal work is expanding more than many other industries, so it is an exciting time to prepare for work in this field.
Paralegal Degree Success Factors
Students in paralegal degree should be able to work under high pressure. The ability to meet deadlines efficiently is essential. These students must be very organized and be able to work well with people. Good public speaking and writing skills should also be character traits of students interested in attending paralegal degree. The student should also be willing to and enjoy doing research.
Paralegal Degree Majors
Students interested in preparing for work as a paralegal should consider majoring in paralegal studies. Other majors include criminal justice, legal studies, and prelaw studies.
Paralegal Degree Curriculum
Many pre-law and law courses will be taken in a paralegal degree program. Courses may include accounting, business, civil procedure, litigation, legal research and writing, law office management, ethics, criminal law, and more.
While some law degrees require eight or so years of studying, paralegal degrees can require as little as two years. An Associate's Degree in Paralegal Studies can be achieved in two years. With this degree, students are ready to be employed in entry-level paralegal positions. Often, students choose to get an Associate's Degree in Paralegal Studies rather than a Bachelor's Degree as an attorney because it requires less schooling and they can seek employment sooner. They won't have all the responsibilities of an attorney, but they will work alongside them and have similar tasks, with less schooling required.
As mentioned above, with a two year degree in paralegal studies, graduates can readily be employed as entry-level paralegals. With this job they would likely do such tasks as research legal documents, help attorneys, look into case files, draft contracts, help in the preparation of legal arguments and drafts, locate witnesses, provide trial assistance, and more.