Completing a degree as a paralegal offers the opportunity to seek a variety of career opportunities. While you may consider working in the private sector, there are also public sector paralegal jobs within the government. By understanding your job responsibilities and the way a government paralegal differs from other professionals, it is easier to determine if you want to work in a government agency.
What is a Government Paralegal?
Government paralegal jobs refer to paralegal positions in a government agency. You work to support the legal team of the government agency or you work under the supervision of government lawyers. The specific role in a government agency may vary slightly based on the agency and the type of work performed by the agency.
What are the Responsibilities of a Government Paralegal?
The job responsibilities of a government paralegal focus on the specific needs of the agency. For example, a paralegal in the FBI may focus on legal documents and litigation paperwork as it relates to federal crimes. Working for the Department of Homeland Security may focus on defense paperwork and related details. The government paralegal job description may depend on the agency and its role in government.
Due to your degree as a paralegal, you may also work in a support role for a lawyer within the agency. For example, you may research the information required by the lawyer. In some cases, your job responsibilities will focus on writing and editing official documents. Paralegals may also present information to various government teams or agents.
Educational responsibilities may also apply to some positions as a paralegal working with the government. You may be asked to give seminars that focus on educating or teaching agents. Editing educational materials for appropriate compliance standards may also apply to your career.
Paralegals may also play a role in a government agency’s compliance office. You may work on the agency’s publications to ensure it is up-to-date and it complies with current legal standards. In the event that information is out-of-date, you may be asked to update and improve the publications for better quality, clarification, or legal standards.
What Government Agencies Hire Paralegals?
Paralegal jobs in Federal Government are available in a variety of different agencies. You may find opportunities with the Department of Defense, the CIA, the FBI, The Department of Homeland Security, or any other major agency in the Federal Government.
The career opportunities for a paralegal in government may also apply at the state or local level. You may find opportunities within your state’s government to work with government officials or legal professionals.
How Much Can You Make as a Government Paralegal?
When it comes to government paralegal salary, the income you can expect depends on a variety of factors. The first consideration is your level of education. If you have a higher level of education like a master’s, then you can expect a higher income level. Your experience as a paralegal also impacts your income potential.
While the specific standards may vary based on the agency, your experience, your location, and your level of education, you can expect a fair wage for your work. The income level for a government paralegal is between $57,500 and $83,400 per year. You can expect your income to be similar to the average rates for paralegals in the private sector. You can also expect work benefits beyond your salary, such as insurance coverage, so you will want to evaluate any offer given by a government agency with the understanding that you may have benefits beyond your salary.
Government paralegals play a key role in the legal and ethical standards set by an agency. When you take on a career in the government, you can expect to work on important paperwork, litigation, and documents to ensure proper compliance with state and federal laws. The fast-paced environment gives paralegals a challenge and the salary potential allows you to grow as you gain experience in your career.