Everything you need to know about the paralegal career
What Is a Paralegal?
If you are wondering what is a paralegal exactly than you need not worry because there are actually paralegals working for years who could not give you an exact answer. That is because there are so many aspects of a paralegal’s work to consider you would find it difficult to sum in just a few words. So if you agreed to give a negative definition of a paralegal you could say that a paralegal is a lawyer that cannot give legal advice and cannot represent you. So than you are left with the question of what can a paralegal do because those seem to be the only things lawyers do. But the fact is that in order for a lawyer to give an adequate legal advice or give proper representation he has to do a lot of prep work which is actually the best answer to the question of what is a paralegal.
So the best answer to what is a paralegal might be to say that a paralegal is that, specifically trained, person that can help an attorney do his job flawlessly and seamlessly. In fact a good paralegal will actually be better equipped than the lawyer himself to talk to clients and witnesses, to get them to open up and reveal the truth. So a great attention for detail is one of the strongest requirements for any paralegal. But he also has to be able to formulate all that he find, both from witnesses and from consulting the law and previous legal precedents, in a succinct manner that the attorney can consult, understand and use at a glance. However this is only one small fraction of what is a paralegal job and description.
That is because there is a description of what is a paralegal that has nothing to do with talking to other people or even going through volumes of law. In other words there are paralegals who only deal with drafting contracts, establishing nuances of speech in trademark agreements whose work is extremely important but is so different from what we have talked about so far that you would be excused to think they are different things. But the truth is that there are paralegals who only handle working with the corporate clients of their law firms so their job is to make sure that everything that happens in the law department of a company is as tight and safe for that company as possible. They will create new contracts, look over old ones and even investigate the company’s financial statements in an attempt to keep that company safe from possible litigation. And that is just another good answer to what is a paralegal and it is as valid as the other one.
But asking what is a paralegal is also asking how one would go about becoming one and the answer to that is as debatable as everything we’ve said so far. That is because there is no mandatory schooling that a paralegal needs to take before starting to work. In fact there are many attorneys’ offices that will give on the job training and it is not at all uncommon for a lawyer to hire a paralegal just because he is impressed with the person and not their schooling. That is not to say that there are no paralegal schools because there are in fact more than a hundred schools and of those almost half are accredited by the American Bar Association. And their diplomas might not be necessary for obtaining a job in this particular career choice but they do offer a better chance of employment so exploring the beginning of what is a paralegal means is still not the complete answer.
In fact in order to completely answer what is a paralegal we need to talk also about the fact that a paralegal is a person who, typically, works for more than just one employer or works extra hours. The truth is that those extra hours, no matter if they are spend doing the same thing or working in a different field of the paralegal job description, are actually very well paid for making the paralegal profession one of the most sought after today. So despite the fact that it is one of the jobs with the biggest expansion rates it is also a very competitive medium and people trying to make it here will need to have a lot of assets such as education but also personal qualities to make it. However if you do succeed you will be one of the few people who are not required to have a strong education but who are able to pull in an income of over $60000 a year and have the chance of doubling that. So you could say that the answer to what is a paralegal is a very rich, young professional.