help lawyers in their day-to-day work. They perform some of the
same tasks as lawyers. They are also called legal assistants.
Paralegals look at the facts of cases to make sure that all important
information is included. They write reports that lawyers use to
help prepare their cases. They also keep track of the documents
related to the case.
also do many other important things. Their duties vary depending
on the type of business for which they work. For example, they
may help write contracts and mortgages. Some help prepare income
tax returns and other financial documents.
often use computers in their work. They must enjoy doing research.
a typical 40-hour week. Most work year round, but some are only
employed during busy times of the year. In law firms, some work
very long hours. Most of their work is done at desks in offices
and law libraries. Sometimes they have to travel.
|How do you get ready to become a Paralegal?
several ways to become a paralegal. Most attend a community college
paralegal program that leads to an associate degree. A small number
of schools offer bachelor's and master's degrees in paralegal
studies. Some learn by on-the-job training. Sometimes experienced
legal secretaries may become paralegals.
by a legal organization can help get a job. This may require education,
work experience, and passing a test. Some work as interns at law
firms while going to school. This experience can help them get
a full-time job later.
need good research and writing skills. They should also be able
to use computers. Paralegals often deal with the public, so they
should be courteous. They also have to uphold the ethical standards
of the legal profession.
|How much do Paralegals get paid?
half of paralegals earned between $30,020 and $48,760. The lowest-paid
10 percent earned less than $24,470. The highest-paid 10 percent
earned more than $61,150.
paralegals vary greatly. Persons who work for large firms or in
big cities earn more.
and legal assistants held about 200,000 jobs in 2002. About 7
out of 10 worked for law firms. Others worked for companies and
will hire more paralegals to help lawyers prepare their cases.
More people and businesses will need legal services, which will
also increase the need for paralegals. The number of jobs for
paralegals is expected to grow faster than the average for all
occupations between 2002 and 2012. However, new workers are expected
to face competition for these jobs. Persons with formal training
or related work experience will have the best chances.
|Are there other jobs like this?
adjusters, appraisers, examiners, and investigators
- Law clerks
health and safety specialists and technicians
- Title examiners,
abstractors, and searchers
Source: Occupational Outlook Handbook -- U.S. Department of
Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics
|Where can you find more information?
about paralegals and legal assistants can be found in the careers