Career Profile – Paralegal and Legal Assistant

legal studiesA paralegal’s most important task is helping lawyers prepare for closings, hearings, trials, and corporate meetings. Paralegals might investigate the facts of cases and ensure that all relevant information is considered.

They identify appropriate laws, judicial decisions, legal articles, and other materials that are relevant to assigned cases.

If attorneys decide to file lawsuits on behalf of clients, paralegals may help prepare the legal arguments, draft pleadings and motions to be filed with the court, obtain affidavits, and assist attorneys during trials.

Common responsibilities include:

  • Help the attorney prepare for closings, hearings, trials and corporate meetings
  • Investigate facts of a case
  • Identify appropriate laws that apply to a case
  • Prepare legal arguments and research precedents

The educational qualifications required to be a paralegal are an Associates degree or paralegal certificate from an accredited university and on the job training in the field.

Job outlooks for the next decade are good due to the rapidly growing population and their need for legal services. Competition will be intense though, so education and formal training will be determining factors in the selection process for employment.

Related Pages:
College and School Programs – Legal Studies and Reporting

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor

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