Career Transition From Paralegal

Do you think about a career transition from paralegal from time to time? If so you are in the right place! Are you one of the many paralegals who have been working professionally for many years and are nearing what you can only term paralegal burnout? Well, you are not alone and have probably considered a transition from a paralegal career to another career in which your skills are not only in-demand but well paid!

Paralegals assist lawyers in almost every facet of the many-faceted legal profession, often lightening the attorney’s load, but creating paralegal burnout simultaneously.

So, if you have pondered the question – What career can I transition into from paralegal that may help alleviate the burnout paralegals may experience? – read on to learn about the many career options and transition careers for paralegals available today.

Alternative Careers for Paralegals

The excellent news for paralegals seriously considering a transition from a paralegal career is that there are many other careers for which paralegal skills are well suited; skills that include –

  • Effective communication.
  • Exception writing abilities.
  • Research capabilities.
  • Strong eye for detail, among others.

And while some of these potential transition career switches may require certification or additional training, the small effort is often well worth the time and cost.

  • Working within a Library – many law librarians have been paralegals with the specialized training to manage the legal library of a governmental agency, a corporation, or a law firm, to name a few. Law librarians are tasked with ensuring information is appropriately managed, easily located, and includes new relevant publications. Librarians & Library Media Specialists, according to the BLS, earned a 2019 median salary of $59,500 per year.
  • Working within Human Resource Departments or Recruiting Firms – paralegals can often transition from a paralegal career and become quality, effective legal recruiters. Legal recruiters work for law firms, employment companies as well as many different government agencies. Legal recruiters are responsible for finding and vetting quality legal candidates to fill open employment positions. According to the BLS, human resource specialists earned a 2019 median pay of $61,920 per year.
  • Working for a Lender or Banking Institution – those who have burned-out of the paralegal profession can often find quality transition careers for paralegals in the world of banking or finance. A paralegal’s training is quite valuable in the areas of contracts, real estate, and investments for banks across the board.
  • Working in the Field of Technology – paralegals are also likely to be very computer literate based on their extensive training prior to becoming certified or licensed. As such, many professionals facing paralegal burnout find rewarding careers in the field of technology where they can put their computer skills to practical use as a database administrators, computer center managers, or digital forensic specialists.

Nontraditional Paralegal Jobs

Another way to overcome paralegal burnout is to choose a paralegal job in a less traditional setting than that of a law firm. Because laws impact each area of each of our lives, the demand for paralegal talents and skills extends and crosses many industries. Consider this sampling of nontraditional paralegal jobs that may appeal to paralegal professionals who are looking for a related career outside that of a paralegal job in a traditional law office.

  • Paralegals that work for Non-Profit Organizations – many paralegals find rewarding work involved in working with non-profit companies, which often have limited budgets that only allow for paralegal salaries on a full-time basis, instead of a full-time JD professional.
  • Paralegals that work for Real Estate Firms or Title Companies – most large title agencies and real estate brokerages employ paralegal professionals as there is quite a strong need for legal paperwork that is required when buying/selling residential or commercial real property. Paralegals can ensure lenders comply with the many real estates and disclosure laws (RESPA, TIL, HUD, etc.) enacted to protect homebuyers against discrimination in housing and lending. Violation of real estate or lending laws comes with significant consequences, which paralegals are trained to help avoid.
  • Paralegals that work for Corporate Entities – paralegals, are often employed by corporations to help with ongoing legal matters in the areas of corporate filings, taxes, or mergers & acquisitions, among others. Corporate paralegals tend to specialize in specific areas like state or federal corporation requirements.

The Take-Away

Paralegals professionals who are facing paralegal burnout must begin to allow themselves to think outside the box when considering their next career move or transition from a paralegal career. In many respects, possessing a paralegal degree or certificate is a great entry-level career springboard as its skills and talents are easily and often applied to virtually any sector or field in the economy.


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