ARE PARALEGALS IN HIGH DEMAND, WHAT IS A PARALEGAL?
This is a very good question which many people who are considering starting a career as a paralegal always ask themselves. No one wants an occupation where after going to school to get a degree, they find it hard to get a job with their certificate.
If you are interested in becoming a paralegal and would like to know the answer to this question, I suggest you relax back and read through this article to get what you are looking for.
WHAT IS A PARALEGAL?
A paralegal is said to be an individual that is been employed by a lawyer, government agency, law office or any other corporation for the main purpose of performing a specific legal job which a lawyer is responsible for.
The tasks that paralegals perform require the knowledge of the law to be performed properly. Bear in mind that a paralegal is not a lawyer but are being employed by law firms, their skills are also not meant for the law firm alone. Since you know what a paralegal is, let us dive into whether paralegals are high in demand.
ARE PARALEGALS IN HIGH DEMAND?
Yes, paralegals are in high demand, the paralegal industry has changed ominously since the 1970s when becoming a legal assistant first emerged as a bona fide career.
Economic necessity, explosive growth, and client growth have made paralegals a well-known career choice and there is no better time to be a paralegal. Statistics have shown that the type of legal and law specialty area are diverse and there will be employment growth for up to 15% from 2016 to 2026 and this is a much faster than the average rate for all other occupations.
There arenumerousreasons for the increase in demand. Law firms try to find a way to streamline their operational costs and spending, skilled paralegals offer a less expensive alternative instead of lawyers. Properly trained paralegals with strong communication, computer skills, and database management are essential to the career.
Due to the paperless processes and growth in electronic storage and retrieval systems, paralegals are still needed to interact with clients, perform legal research, calendar filings, help attorney to prepare trials and manager caseloads. These actions cannot be performing by technology-enabled machines and processes that’s why human interaction is required.
The paralegal row keeps expanding into a non-legal profession and this is also favorably to the market demand. Paralegal study accolades numerous occupations and offers qualifications for numerous career options across the job landscape.
A paralegal has a lot of firms, private companies, corporations, organizations and courts from which they can choose. Many paralegals advance into hybrid roles in a people-focused position that require difficult client interactions, writing skills, research and attention to detail. Paralegals can leverage these skills in healthcare, real estate, insurance, recruiting, human resources, marketing and technology, and compliance.
A vigorous employment outlook is proposed for paralegals, this is not because the firm operates more resourcefully but also because of the variety of responsibilities that are under the role of a paralegal. These responsibilities may include billing, technical support, and even accounting. Firmsare rethinking their business requirements and building their teams by employing paralegals.
Often, paralegals will shoulder a huge scope of clerical and administrative responsibilities which was assigned to other members of staff. The scope between paralegal, legal assistant and legal secretary continue to be a blur. There are oftenidentical terms within the industry, and this is referred to in the same manner and used interchangeably.
Unlike many other industries, the paralegal is in the field without a degree, a certificate in Paralegal studies will add specific legal skills and legal classes to resume. There can be a career change if the individual seeks a post-secondary education.
Moreover, many paralegal jobs do incudes a college degree requirement to qualify. At least, an Associate of Applied Science Degree is highly recommended for anyone seeking a paralegal profession.
ADVANTAGES OF BEING A PARALEGAL
- Intellectual Challenge: Paralegal work is logically thought-provoking and involves a variety of high-level skills. To become successful in paralegal profession you will need to be a problem-solver and innovative thinker too. Paralegals are always subject matter experts in their special area and master in legal procedure, drafting, research, and other skills. A paralegal must stay on top of ever-changing laws and also a new legal trends and expansions while with the attorneys, opposing counsel, staff members, clients, and others. The work of a paralegal is varied and each day there are new challenges they face.
- Client Contact: Most paralegals work directly with their clients while some work with under the supervision of an attorney. For example, paralegals interview potential clients to get the merits of their case, cross-examination at trials, prepare clients for depositions and also work with a client to gather documents and data, they also help to assist clients in preparing discovery responses and serve as the client’s main point of contact throughout a deal and case. In some area of practice, such as child custody, divorce, and personal injury, paralegal helps the clients through difficult times.
- Rising Pay: Within the past decade, the paralegal compensation has risen steadily, despite the recession in the year 2009-2010. As paralegal perform the more complex task and broader assignments by representing the clients in court in certain countries and administrative tribunals. They have earned their rise. The average salary of paralegals hovers around $50,000 per year but paralegals often make more bonuses. In the paralegal’s paycheck overtime hours are also added as significant cash.
- Easy Career Entry: You can become a paralegal in few months of study unlike lawyers that complete seven years of formal education and must past the bar exams to practice. Also, paralegals do not need to attend an expensive institution; online programs can help you obtain a paralegal certificate.
- Rising Prestige: Paralegals are not simply lawyer’s assistants due to the rise in the complexity of their work. They also help in management roles in some corporations. Over the years, paralegals have gone beyond the image of adored legal secretary to become respected members of the legal team.