Becoming a paralegal is a rewarding and lucrative career choice. Paralegals work along side lawyers to help them with their cases, research, workload, filings, and other duties that lawyers need assistance with.
As of May 2007, the average paralegal in the US made just below $50,000 a year, but salaries can range between $35k and $100k per year depending on what sector the paralegal is working in.
For those that want a career as a paralegal, the following are 10 steps to help become a paralegal.
10 Steps To Becoming A Paralegal
- The most common way to become a paralegal is through a community college paralegal program that leads to an associate degree.
- Another common method of entry, mainly for those who already have a college degree, is earning a certificate in paralegal studies.
- If you don’t have a academic training in the paralegal field, some law offices or companies will train in-house.
- If you’re considering a certificate program, consider that they’ll provide intensive paralegal training for individuals who already hold college degrees and take about two months to complete.
- Keep in mind some employers require that your paralegal program is approved by the American Bar Association (ABA)
- Advancement opportunities include promotion to managerial and other law-related positions within the firm or corporate legal department.
- Consider the environment you’d like to work in before becoming a paralegal whether it’s a small, private law firm, or as an employee within the Federal Government.
- Find job openings through your school’s employment office
- Try cold calling – research reputable firms and call them up to find out if they’re hiring.
- Consider continuing education through such organizations as the National Association of Legal Assistants when consideringbecoming a paralegal.