Becoming a Paralegal: How to become a Paralegal
The requirements for becoming a paralegal vary based on the work environment you wish to work for. Some law firms may require you to have a complete four-year degree in paralegal studies, while other offices may only ask applicants to have earned an Associate’s degree or shorter professional program from a business school or trade school. Paralegals may want to consider taking the national certification exam for legal assistants, but it usually isn’t needed.
Top Schools Offering Paralegal Degree Programs:
The links below will allow you to request free enrollment information directly from top national schools that offer a Paralegal degree program:
Degree Requirements to become a Paralegal:
There are currently numerous programs available to those students who want to become paralegals. Some business schools and vocational schools offer legal assistant programs that last only a few months or a year, while other, more in-depth programs can last four years. Typically, paralegals in one of these programs will learn legal terminology, how to draft legal reports and briefs, office management skills, good writing skills and some computer skills.
Duties of a Paralegal: What are the duties / traits of a successful paralegal?
Paralegals are chiefly responsible for assisting lawyers with basic office duties like filing, scheduling appointments, writing up legal briefs, and sometimes even interviewing witnesses. They also need to conduct research on specific cases, rulings, policies and even judges. Paralegals can work for government agencies, independent law firms, or corporate law offices.
Paralegal Salary: How much does a paralegal make?
The average paralegal salary for a legal services office is around $38,000, while paralegals working for the federal government can earn nearly $60,000. This amount varies on the size of your office and your own previous experience.