The paralegal (also known as legal assistant) profession is one of the fastest growing professions at this moment. In the past several years, it has become a profession that requires higher education levels than ever before due to the onslaught of new technologies.
By having a legal assistant prepare first drafts and do the research pertaining to a case, the lawyer can charge much less than if they had to do the work themselves. A paralegal will perform many of the important tasks that pertain to a legal case.
They investigate the facts, gather all pertinent information, identify appropriate laws, and review past case law and judicial judgments. They will prepare documents to initiate a legal case, write letters to clients, request documentation from relevant sources, as well as write up reports that the lawyer may use to determine how the case should be handled.
But make no mistake about it, there are cons to the paralegal profession. The following are the most common:
1. A legal assistant could be required to work long hours, often beyond your normal nine to five job.
2. A paralegal will perform lots of research and spend lots of time writing up their findings.
3. The legal assistant profession at this time has no regulations or certifications by law to monitor their actions.
With regards to certification, one can choose to become certified voluntarily. It is a good idea to get paralegal certification because it shows that you are a qualified professional to prospective employers. You can get the Certified Legal Assistant Certification (CLA) through the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) or take the Paralegal Advanced Competency Exam (PACE) offered by the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA).
Even with the cons associated with the paralegal profession, there are many pros as well.
The following are the most common:
1. The legal assistant field offers numerous challenges and can be very rewarding.
2. The average salary for a legal assistant can range from $25,000 to $55,000, depending on location, education, and type of agency that a paralegal is employed.
3. A legal assistant can be employed by a governmental department, private practice, a large law firm, a corporation, or any number of places that require the services of an attorney.
Today the paralegals career prospects and opportunities have never been so superior. However, nowadays the paralegal needs to be trained in a variety of specific areas. A legal assistant that holds an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree is in a more advantageous position to be employed by a governmental agency or a larger more prestigious firm than a person that does not hold one or the other of these degrees. A legal assistant that has their degree can also demand a better salary.
Becoming a legal assistant can offer the exciting challenges that you may be seeking in your career. Paralegals earn excellent earnings and it is a fantastic career for those that are concerned with aiding someone in need.
It is definitely a career worth looking into. If you are interested, you need to explore it further. You should visit websites that cover the profession in more detail.
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