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Paralegal Careers

A paralegal is a person who works for a lawyer, law firm or other agency that has need for a legal assistant. Paralegals assist attorneys in a number of duties, many of them very important to legal proceedings and filings. Paralegals are employed in situations where it is not practical or economical to hire an actual lawyer.

Paralegal Job Description

Paralegals must have knowledge of the law, legal proceedings and proper processes. This is so that they can assist the attorneys they work for without needing any other direction. Exactly how the knowledge is gained varies from one paralegal to the next.

Required Training Programs

In the United States, there are absolutely no requirements to be a paralegal. The only exception to this rule is in California where stringent requirements must be met.

In the rest of the country, anyone can act as a paralegal. Since paralegals are not allowed to work directly for public clients, there is little reason for strong regulations.

Education & Schooling

Most paralegals do have some education in the law, however. Some may be advancing their knowledge while finishing law school to become a lawyer.

Others may be attempting to gain their training on the job. Those seeking a career exclusively as a paralegal tend to specialize in a particular type of law.

Certification Programs

Paralegals can voluntarily decide to become certified or registered with national associations to help bolster their careers, but there is no requirement to do so.

Paralegal careers provide an opportunity to work within the legal system without having to completely commit to a life as an attorney, complete law school, or pass the bar exam.

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