Do you yearn for a fast past exciting career in the field of law? Then perhaps you should learn how to become a Paralegal.
A Paralegal is a legal assistant; he or she does not necessarily train and practice as a lawyer. However, he or she enjoys the thrill and the exhilaration of working in the same field. Yet, to be successful within this field, you must possess the passion as well as the patience to dedicate yourself to researching and preparing various cases.
Anyone interested in how to become a paralegal should put some effort into finding out about the training and education required for this job. First, you must first complete high school or pass the GED exams. Next, you should complete a two-year associate degree program in criminal justice from a community college or a vocational school. An alternative way to go about this is through an online program. Finally, you can choose enroll in an American Bar Association (ABA) approved program as it will enhance your opportunities later on. A word of advice though – whatever program or college you opt for, make sure that it is accredited by the National Federation of the Paralegal Association.
Duties and Responsibilities
In order to understand how to become a Paralegal, one must also have a detailed understanding of what he or she may be required to do.
The most basic and essential duty of a Paralegal is to assist lawyers in their preparations for hearings, trials, and closings. However, since a majority of paralegals work for law firms, corporate legal departments or even government agencies, they may have other responsibilities such as:
- Collecting and organizing all the necessary data and records required by the lawyer for the concerned court cases
- Drafting and writing legal reports and documents
- Preparing for trials under the supervision of lawyers
- Providing suggestions for the method in which the case can be litigated
- Drafting documents for litigation, contracts, separation agreements and other such tasks
- Running searches over properties along with various other tasks such as preparing for transaction closings for real estate.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is one field that is growing like wildfire. Compared to other careers in criminal justice, paralegals are expected to earn more by 28% by 2018 and an average yearly income of approximately $46,000 to $73,000.
So, now that you know everything there is to know about how to become a paralegal, perhaps you will start considering this career seriously.