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Choosing the right profession can be difficult, especially when you have so many options available. If you are interested in a career as a paralegal, the information below will help you decide whether this path is right for you.
A paralegal is a professional who helps attorneys to keep their practice running smoothly. Paralegals may be responsible for a range of tasks, including:
To be successful in their jobs, paralegals need to be organized and hard-working. Attention to detail is also an asset in this profession.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for a paralegal was $52,920 in 2020. The lowest ten percent of earners in the field made $32,900 or less. The highest ten percent of earners made a salary of at least $85,160.
This translates to an hourly wage of approximately $25.44. There are more than 345,000 paralegal positions in the United States as of 2020. Job openings in this career are easy to find, with an anticipated growth of 12 percent from 2020 to 2030. This is faster than the growth for the average career in the United States.
Most paralegals work for attorneys. However, some people in this field may also find jobs working in finance, insurance, local government, state government, or federal government. They typically work collaboratively with attorneys, other paralegals, and other legal professionals to accomplish various tasks.
Becoming a paralegal typically requires formal education. In most cases, prospective paralegals must earn an associate's degree in paralegal studies from a reputable institution. This will usually be enough to gain an entry-level position in the field. However, some people who want to work in this field will eventually earn a bachelor's degree, either before entering the field or while already working in a paralegal position.
Degree programs focusing on paralegal studies cover a wide range of topics prospective paralegals need to understand in order to do their jobs successfully. Some of the topics that will be covered in these programs include:
It is possible to find a paralegal position the offers on-the-job training. However, these positions are rare. In addition, you will be much better prepared to work as a paralegal if you have the proper degree and educational background.
Formal certification is not usually required for paralegals. However, some local and national organizations offer voluntary certifications to paralegals who meet specific criteria. These criteria may include education, experience, and/or a passing score on a paralegal certification exam.
If you want to be a successful paralegal, there are several specific qualities you will need to possess. Some of these qualities include:
To learn more about becoming a paralegal, please contact Hussian College today.