Consider a Career as a Paralegal - The Various Positions and Education Needed

Laura McDonald
September 25, 2008 — 1,576 views  
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A career as a paralegal is definitely worthy of consideration. Young ladies and gentlemen soon entering the job market are wise to select paths of opportunity and advancement. Becoming a paralegal fits the bill in many ways.

Wherever there are people, laws are necessary to settle disputes and protect against crime. There are many areas of law in which paralegals can work, including corporate, estate planning, tax, bankruptcy, family and domestic, criminal, environmental protection, personal injury, civil litigation, trademark, international, intellectual property, and real estate. All these areas of law create a variety of work areas, and an abundance of learning opportunity. Taking advantage of learning opportunities creates more earning opportunities.

The U.S. Department Labor reports that paralegal careers are on the rise, and expected to grow much faster than average for all occupations through the year 2014. The median for paralegal salaries range between $31,040 and $49,950. In bigger metropolitan areas, large law firms pay upwards of $60,000. Many paralegals receive bonuses. Benefits for these positions tend to be attractively competitive.

The educational and work experience requirements for paralegal positions vary depending on employer and position requirements. These days, a four-year degree is highly advisable in general. Employers often consider applicants with a bachelor's degree and no work experience.

A four-year degree is not necessarily required for all paralegal positions. Another applicant with a two-year degree and more specialized concentration in paralegal studies and no work experience may be equally considered. Many employers also consider the work experience of legal assistants or secretaries who have had no college training.

Online degrees are gaining popularity and are being considered positively by employers. There are several online courses designed for paralegal training. People can earn online degrees while working full-time in the convenience of their own schedules at home. Such flexibility of training makes learning easier, and opens doors for paralegal job opportunities.

There are several other steps one can take to prepare for a career as a paralegal. Many of these steps are surprisingly easy, and will open interview doors wider. I will discuss the steps in other articles soon.

In addition to various opportunities and advancement, positions as a skilled paralegal can maintain one happily through their entire work career, yet has the flexibility of being a stepping stone into other positions. Such other positions, to name a few, could be in law enforcement, becoming an attorney, or working in top level positions of other businesses, like becoming a successful realtor. Consider a career as a paralegal, it just might be right up your alley.

Are you fascinated by trials? Do you like helping people? A career as a Paralegal is challenging, rewarding, and NEVER boring. Sign up for free newsletters that show you how to step into this exciting career. Adventures await you....

Laura McDonald is a paralegal. She is a member of NFPA (National Federation of Paralegal Associations). Laura is experienced in the areas of personal injury, civil litigation, family, environmental and corporate law, estate planning and bankruptcy. She works for Michael L. Hawkins & Associates, P.L.L.C., located in Frankfort, Kentucky. The firm's website is

Laura McDonald