A Look at Paralegal Jobs

Written by admin on May 12th, 2011

Paralegals support lawyers by organizing the massive amounts of
paperwork law offices generate, running the office smoothly,
helping to draft documents and interviewing witnesses.
Paralegals may work for lawyers, corporations, or government
agencies. In general, a college degree is sufficient education
to become a paralegal, although courses do exist to train and
certify paralegals. The National Federation of Paralegal
Associations estimates that 84 percent of paralegals have some
form of form paralegal education.

Several specific types of paralegal jobs are available.
Litigation paralegals help prepare documents for trials.
Corporate paralegals prepare paperwork for business dealings.
Probate paralegals interview clients and prepare tax and
financial documents. Real estate paralegals prepare closings and
research land laws. Government paralegals work for the White
House, the Justice Department, or the Federal Trade Commission
and may organize evidence, answer questions for the public, or
conduct hearings. Employment paralegals do work similar to a
litigation paralegal, but work specifically with unions or
discrimination cases.

The average starting salary of a paralegal is about ,500
while working normal hours. Most law firms, however, require
that paralegals work more hours than the typical nine to five,
Monday through Friday work week. The extra overtime could bump a
beginning paralegal’s salary up to almost ,000 a year. An
experienced paralegal can expect to make around ,000 a year,
about the national average, with life and health insurance

The National Federation of Paralegal Associations estimates that
84 percent of paralegals have had some formal paralegal
education. A paralegal’s specialization determines what fields
he could work in, for example medical law or labor movement
organizations. According to a 2001 survey, about 25 percent of
paralegals have an associate’s degree, about 50 percent of all
paralegals have a bachelor’s degree, and eight percent have
either a master’s degree or a J.D. degree. Certificate or degree
programs are available for paralegals who wish to have more
training. At a minimum, the National Federation of Paralegal
Associations recommends that aspiring paralegals have a two-year
degree with an emphasis on paralegal studies. A bachelor’s
degree, however, is recommended.

A paralegal’s resume should list education, experience, awards
and highlight writing abilities, professional and personal
skills. Sample paralegals resumes are readily available on the
Internet. Be sure to attach a cover letter, as you would when
applying for any other job, stating your interest and describing
the skills that make you a perfect candidate for the job. Sample
cover letters are also posted on the Internet.

A simple way to find a law firm is to go to the local library
and skim through Martindale Hubbell, an index of every lawyer in
the country organized by city and law firm. Online sites also
allow registered users to browse hiring law firms

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