The Benefits of Being a Paralegal
Paralegals are an important member of any law firm, providing both legal and non-legal support to lawyers and their clients. More and more, paralegals are being seen as a viable and rewarding career for college graduates. Here are some of the main benefits of being a paralegal:
Good Salary Potential
Paralegals typically earn more than the national average income. In 2019, the median pay for paralegals and legal assistants was $51,740 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Paralegals may earn even more depending on the size of the company they work for and their experience level.
Wide Range of Responsibilities
Paralegals are the primary assistant to lawyers and are responsible for a wide range of legal tasks including:
- Assisting in the preparation of pleadings, motions, briefs, memos and other documents;
- Conducting legal research;
- Drafting and analyzing contracts;
- Organizing and maintaining documents;
- Conducting interviews; and
- Maintaining client communications.
Not only is the work of a paralegal varied and intellectually stimulating, but the job requires strong communication and problem solving skills.
Most paralegal positions are full-time, but many firms offer flexible working hours and part-time positions. This can be a great advantage for individuals who still want to pursue a career in law, but may not have the availability for a full-time role.
Opportunities for Advancement
Many paralegals use their experience to go on and become lawyers or other legal professionals. To become a lawyer, paralegals must pursue additional education, which may include a Juris Doctor (JD) degree and passing the state bar exam. Becoming a lawyer isn’t the only path for paralegals to take – many go on to become legal secretaries, copy editors or even legal administrators.
Overall, being a paralegal can be a great career choice for college graduates looking for an opportunity to work in the law industry. Paralegals can enjoy good salaries, flexible working hours and opportunities to enhance their skills and further their careers.