A career as a paralegal or a legal assistant is perhaps best suited for persons who are intrigued by the law and all its facets, but don’t want to attend law school to become a lawyer.
1Responsibilities of a Paralegal (Legal Assistant)
Paralegals are an indispensable part of the legal system even though the career is not at the same level as a lawyer. Like many other intensive careers, becoming a legal assistant requires one to start out early and put in a lot of time and effort. Qualified and adept paralegals are responsible for much of the work that goes into legal cases. Here are several examples of the responsibilities of a paralegal.
• Assisting lawyers as they prepare for hearings and trials in court, client and office meetings, as well as closings
• Preparation of written reports
• Monitoring developments in terms of government regulations and the reviewing laws
• Managing and organizing of legal files
• Carrying out extensive research
2Required Skills to Become a Paralegal
Basically, those who intend to work as a paralegal should learn as much as possible about the legal profession. This can be done by:
• Reading of relevant books
• Conducting online research
• Learning from people already in the profession to gain real world experience
• Participating or attending debate sessions
3Educational Requirements For a Legal Assistant Career
There isn’t a specific, predetermined career path to become a paralegal. The type of paralegal career that you want is what will really determine what your educational credentials should be. The competitiveness of your specific career path should also determine your educational background. The better educated and trained you are the more appealing your resume will be to potential employers.
As a prospective legal assistant, you can take the following educational options:
• Pursuing a Paralegal Studies 2-year Associate’s degree in a community college. This will require you to take general courses, electives, and specific legal courses. Some of the classes that you may study include business law, estate planning and probate, litigation, a...