Paralegal Degrees, Paralegal Degree, Paralegal, Paralegals

Careers in Paralegal

What is a Paralegal Degree?

How would you like to have the chance to be employed in one of the best jobs in America? According to CNN Money Magazine, a paralegal professional holds the 27th rank due to it being a highly-paid and fast-growing profession. What's more, you can earn a Paralegal Degree or certificate in as little as 24 months, which will open up an array of career opportunities.

Earning a Paralegal Degree or certificate will allow you access to courtrooms and trials without the headache of law school. Typically, paralegal professionals assist lawyers prepare for trials, hearings, corporate meetings, and closings by investigating case facts, preparing written reports, and assisting with scheduling cases. Paralegal professionals are invaluable members of the legal field, especially to their employer, because they allow attorneys to perform their jobs more efficiently and serve their clients to the utmost standards. Because of the value they bring to the field, job opportunities for paralegal professionals are on the rise and are expected to continue through 2018.

How can I get a Paralegal Degree?

To enter the paralegal field, one must have a minimum of an Associate's Degree in paralegal studies; however, most paralegal professionals possess a Bachelor's Degree with a paralegal certificate. In rare cases, employers may train a paralegal on the job. Associate's and Bachelor's degree program combine paralegal studies with academic studies to provide a well-rounded education, whereas certificate programs focus on intensive paralegal studies and can be completed within a few months. Regardless what route you choose, the skills learned through these programs will greatly benefit you in your paralegal profession.

To be successful, paralegal professionals must be able to document and communicate their research and opinions effectively to their supervising attorney. It is also imperative that paralegal professionals understand legal terminology and have strong research and investigative skills. It is also important that paralegal professionals are familiar with computer applications used for legal research and litigation support. Finally, due to paralegal professionals' frequent contact with the public, they should be courteous and uphold the ethical standards of the legal profession.

Now that the scope of paralegal job duties are laid out, you may be wondering how paralegal professionals are compensated for the work load. Much like most jobs, experience and training are the leading factors when it comes to earning potential in this field. An experienced paralegal professional who can perform time-consuming and daunting tasks for attorneys is invaluable to a busy law firm and, therefore, will be compensated generously. Having said that, the average starting salary for entry-level paralegal professionals is $23,000 to $32,000 annually according to the Buereau of Labor Statistics. With increased knowledge, skills, and experience, paralegal professionals can increase their earnings to an average of $45,000 - $50,000 annually.* Pursuing a career in the paralegal field can prove to be a rewarding and profitable decision for years to come.

* http://www.bls.gov/k12/law05.htm

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