Case on Your
Career Woes: Pursue Paralegal Studies
If you've always been fascinated by law cases, but don't really want to go as far as becoming a lawyer, check out paralegal schools to get you on your way to a lucrative and exciting paralegal career. Paralegals get to work with cases under the supervision of a lawyer and basically get to prep for these cases, without having to put in the demanding hours of a full-time lawyer.
A Lawyer vs. a Paralegal
The job of a lawyer is oftentimes taxing, as long hours and extremely difficult work are required. It seems that many decide to pursue law school because it is the next most logical step after they have received their undergraduate degree. As a paralegal who completes a program at a leading paralegal school, you can take the time to actually see if you enjoy a legal career, before committing to the demanding time and money that law school requires.
The Courtroom Scene
Most paralegals work in law offices, under the supervision of a lawyer, while others work for government agencies. Paralegals who have successfully completed their paralegal study work in all different types of law, including litigation, family law, corporate law, and many other areas. Because law has become so complex in recent years, many paralegals today have specialties and focus on specific aspects of the law and cases.
When a case comes into a law firm, the job of a paralegal is to take the case and examine all the facts to make sure that all pertinent information is present. In addition to this, those in a paralegal career gather all the appropriate precedents and laws that may be applied to the case.
Those who explore paralegal school and then work within the legal field have a few options in getting there. Most get their associate degree in paralegal studies from a community college, gaining experience from formal training and internships. Some paralegals may be career switchers or those who decided to enhance their education in some way by earning a paralegal certificate. Many paralegal certificate programs provide students with intense paralegal training and job placement services. Finally, some schools offer bachelor's degrees for a four-year course of well-rounded paralegal study.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) the job outlook for a paralegal career is very promising and should grow much faster than the average through the year 2014. However, because it is becoming such a popular field, competition for jobs will be very fierce and those with the most formal training and experience, especially with internships, are more likely to get jobs.
The earnings of those in a paralegal career vary depending on their place of work and education. In May 2004, the median annual salary of those in full-time positions, inclusive of bonuses, was $39,130, according to the BLS. This includes paralegals and legal assistants.
Paralegal careers are certainly fast becoming a popular choice for many. By getting formal paralegal training a paralegal school near you, you can better your potential to break into this popular field, while closing the case on the question of your career path.