Become a Paralegal: Instructions to Follow for Your Dream Career

ParalegalParalegal is one of the fastest growing careers in the U.S. Many companies and government agencies are hiring paralegals instead of retaining more lawyers because it's less costly, and paralegals can perform many duties typically fulfilled by young lawyers. Even law firms hire more paralegals to do some of the work that used to be done exclusively by junior members of the firm.

What a Paralegal Does

A paralegal can do many things for lawyers, corporations, and other organizations. For example, lawyers would ask their paralegal to interview witnesses and clients, file documents, and do research on cases or evidence instead of doing it themselves. Corporate law divisions in major companies also retain paralegals for different purposes that involve the law but do not require the presence of a lawyer.

As a paralegal, you can earn anywhere between $40,000 and $60,000 a year. The average pay scale varies from state to state, firm to firm, and company to company. Although you may not make enough as much as a lawyer does, those figures are still not bad at all.

How You Can Start a Paralegal Career

You can be a paralegal. Legalstudies.com noted that the good part is you don't have to attend a college or university like law students do. All you have to do is find a reputable institution that offers a program that allows you to earn a paralegal certificate online. You have to study, but at least it's online. You get to choose your schedule, as well. All you need is a computer with a stable Internet connection. If you're working, your studies won't be in the way of your work or taking care of the family.

Find a company or law firm that takes in paralegals looking for on-the-job training. When you finish the required hours, you'll earn your certificate. After that, you can apply for a job in the legal field. Start low, perhaps as a legal secretary or clerk of court. From there you can work your way up to become a paralegal.

Paralegals are in high demand these days. If you would like a career in the legal field that does not involve becoming a lawyer, this is the way to go.