If you have always been interested in law, but are not ready to commit to law school, becoming a paralegal could be a great fit for you. Paralegals are professionals who work closely with lawyers providing necessary assistance. Paralegals provide a needed service in our community as they assist lawyers with cases. Their work helps cases move more smoothly and quickly through our legal system. This ensures that clients can get their just and equitable day in court faster. Let’s look at the details of this exciting career and how to become a paralegal in Mississippi.
What Does a Paralegal Do?
A paralegal will provide assistance to a lawyer while working in a law office. These individuals will do a lot of the prep work for a lawyer in order to get cases ready to go to court. This will include document preparation, making phone calls, collecting necessary information and evidence, providing administrative duties within the office as well as much more.
Paralegals get to work closely with other legal professionals to move cases smoothly through court and help clients see justice.
What Skills Are Needed?
Before we get into the training required for this profession, let’s look at some of the personal skills you will need to bring to the table.
Reading and comprehension skills will be high on the list. A paralegal will spend a good deal of time reading through the material and gathering information for the attorneys they work for. It is imperative that you have good reading and comprehension skills so that you can move information along speedily.
Communication skills will also be very important if you are wondering how to become a paralegal in Mississippi. You will be required to communicate with clients and other lawyers on a regular basis. You will be asked to compose emails and letters in order to obtain and share important information.
Administrative skills will also be a big part of your job as a paralegal. While you are working in a law office, you will be asked to perform many administrative tasks such as document management, scheduling appointments, and keeping up with court dates.
What Type of Training Is Needed?
A paralegal will work through a paralegal degree program to get the necessary training for this career. These types of programs are offered at many community colleges and can be found both as on-campus programs or as online paralegal degree programs. In some states, paralegals are also required to go through a certification process.
An associate’s degree in paralegal studies will take approximately 24 months, while a bachelor’s degree in the same field of study will take 4 years to complete. The amount of education you receive can influence the types of jobs you will be qualified for as well as the amount of money you could possibly make.
You should note that the requirements for landing a paralegal job can vary greatly depending on where you live and the law office you apply to. Some lawyers prefer to train their paralegals themselves and may consider hiring a paralegal who has not gone through a paralegal degree program. The best way to ensure you have the skills to succeed in this business, though, would be to get the customary training either on campus or through an online paralegal degree program.
How Much Does a Paralegal Make?
The Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the median income for this profession is approximately $50,940 annually. It is projected that employment in this field will increase significantly between now and 2028. This means that this is a healthy career opportunity and job security.
You should note that the amount of money you can make in this profession will vary greatly depending on where you work and who you work for.
Mississippi Paralegal Programs
In the state of Mississippi, there are many paralegal programs to choose from both on-campus and online. Some of the programs available include:
- Mississippi University for Women
- University of Southern Mississippi
- Hinds Community College (hybrid programs)
- Itawamba Community College (hybrid programs)
- Mississippi College
- Northwest Mississippi Community College
If you are interested in becoming a paralegal in Mississippi, this information can get you started in the right direction. You can speak with an admission counselor at your current school, or with a counselor at any of the schools listed above, in order to get more information on this exciting career option. If you have always wanted to work in the world of law, becoming a paralegal could be the right fit for you.