Paralegals are an important part of any law firm. They not only draft paperwork and handle office work but often research important cases and work with clients. These professionals learn a lot about the practice of law. This is a great career for anyone who has an interest in the legal world but does not want to attend law school. Training, experience, and connections affect the median salary for paralegal professionals.
Average Paralegal Salary
In 2011, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the average US paralegal salary was $49,960. However, the leaders in the field made nearly $35,000 more than this. Paralegals can work in a variety of offices. For example, some work for government groups whereas others work for privately owned firms. The size of the organization and its reputation and area of law also affect the average salary. A paralegal working for a large corporate law firm will make more than someone working for a small or upstart local law office or state government group.
Most law firms or organizations have roughly two or three paralegals for each lawyer. Thus, there are a number of paralegal jobs out there. Smaller groups may have just one professional. Legal groups need support during the research and document drafting process. Thus, the job market is promising for people. After all, no matter the unemployment rates, people always need lawyers. Some offices even hire paralegals to help manage the office or meet with clients.
How to Receive Training and Education
The more education and experience a paralegal has, the more likely they are to be hired for a high-paying position. There are paralegal schools that offer proper training and many community colleges also have similar courses. Students should look at the cost of the school and its reputation before making a decision. After all, it helps to work with organizations that help students find jobs or internships. Once finished, students will have a paralegal certificate and will be prepared to assist lawyers with a variety of cases and duties.
Gain a Specialty and Seek Out Work Experience
Law firms want paralegals who will not make mistakes. Thus, it is important for professionals to get as much hands-on experience as possible. This might mean interning for a lawyer in high school or volunteering or interning while in college. Attending industry events, talking with lawyers, and learning as much as possible about the legal field also helps people reach new heights within this career. It helps to have a specialty. For example, some firms offer a range of services while others focus on tax or estate law or business-related services.
Paralegal jobs are secure and fulfilling. This is a chance for people to work with intelligent and experienced lawyers and to help those who are in need. Job security and a competitive salary make this career path ideal for organized individuals with an interest in law. Proper training and work experience helps people find high-paying paralegal positions with exciting duties.