According to the National Association of Legal Assistant’s 2010 Utilization and Compensation Survey, paralegals spend the majority of their time at work engaged in the following activities:
- Case management: Coordinating all aspects of a case and ensuring appropriate steps are taken in a timely fashion.
- Drafting correspondence.
- Calendaring deadlines: Calculating legal deadlines and filing documents as required.
- Using automation system and computerized support to prepare cases.
- Drafting pleadings, document responses and discoveries.
- Contacting and conferencing with clients.
- Analyzing and summarizing documents.
- Fact checking.
- Performing legal research.
- Attending to office matters
How to become a paralegal
Becoming a paralegal is a great career choice. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 46,200 new paralegal jobs will be added to the job market by the year 2022. So how do you start? The path to becoming a paralegal can look very different from one person to the next.
The most common education that leads to work as a paralegal is an associate degree, which generally takes about two years. Have you already earned a bachelor’s or associate degree in a different field? A paralegal certification program can provide you with the industry expertise and specialized knowledge to enhance your career needs.
As you begin learning the role of a paralegal, you might find benefits you didn’t expect. Being able to help others is rewarding, and the competitive salary is tough to ignore. This will be an exciting time for you as you dip your toes in the pool of a legal profession. You’ll get a taste of what the American criminal justice system is really about.
Paralegals perform an integral role in a firm’s success – every document filed, every interview conducted and every ounce of collected research matters. You might find that this career choice allows you to contribute to legal work in a satisfying way. You are helping people one legal paper at a time. This job will challenge you intellectually and provide you with valuable professional experience to reach your long-term career goals.