A Paralegal or Legal Assistant requires being multi-skilled, efficient, and hardworking. Everyone wants to know “how I can become a Paralegal fast” because it can be quite profitable.
The good news is that it doesn’t require years of law school! Anyone can find themselves in this career with just a little hard work.
The most important area that needs to be addressed if you are considering this career path includes the skills, education, training, and experience that will be asked of anyone entering the legal field as a Paralegal.
Below will provide some insight into how it is possible to become a Paralegal as quickly as possible with some simple guidance.
Skills Required For a Paralegal
Those looking to become a Paralegal fast and reduce training times will be well served to develop a set of skills that will propel them into the career of their dreams.
Below is a list of useful skills that all Paralegals should have to be a proficient legal assistant.
- Prioritizing – The skill of prioritizing is critical because the job requires a lot of multitasking. A Paralegal must have the ability to handle many small jobs at once and have the natural ability to attribute what is most important and needs to be done immediately versus the less urgent task that can be set aside until the others are done.
- Communication – Vital and necessary skill of communication is required because the job requires the ability to be able to speak with the interviewers, email, and take effective witness statements. A Paralegal is a lawyers liaison and assistance with the outside world.
- Writing – The skill of writing is one of the more prominent skills a Paralegal will have to utilize simply to the vast amount of time they will spend writing throughout their day. They will be required to produce complicated court drafts, briefings, and documents.
There are several paths that are available to utilize in order to become a Paralegal in a timely and fast manner. Each person is unique and has different needs meaning that one way might be easier than the others available; however, a completely different route might be the best path for another person because not everyone is in the same place.
Each path has its own value that can be utilized and also downsides. Below are some possible routes that can be taken to become a Paralegal. The details will also include the pros and cons of each route.
- Certificate Programs: A Certificate program has the advantages of being a lot quicker than the other options only requiring anywhere from eighteen to forty credit hours. That sounds pretty good; however, there is a downside because many companies on the job market are requiring a four-year degree. This program is best used if you already have the advantage of a bachelor’s degree in any field of study and are looking for a career change.
- Two-Year Programs: The advantage of getting a two-year associates degree is that it does give a Paralegal more credibility and options when hitting the job market. There is also a larger course selection in the law field if planning to continue. The downside is that it takes two years to complete costing more than a certificate; however, that can be diminished when understanding that with a degree there is simply more and better-paying jobs out there than if a Paralegal simply had the certification.
- Four-Year Programs: The obvious negative is that this program takes four years to complete which does take more time and money investing in this career path than any of the other options. The benefits though may be a reason to consider this. A Paralegal entering the job market with a four-year bachelor’s degree immediately have an advantage over other applicants with less education behind their job request. Law offices will see that you are dedicated, educated, and prepared to be an asset to their firm. The more focus and education an applicant can provide can land them their dream position.
Types of Paralegal Careers:
Paralegal’s going through a certificate are degree program should be aware of the different kinds of paths they can take within kinds of jobs available. The law is vast and everyone should consider what area they would like to work in while they are going through the program because it can save time and mistakes.
Below are a few examples to be considered and to think about what fits you best, what you’re interested in, and what you would most enjoy on a daily basis.
- Bankruptcy Paralegal – This is an area where a Paralegal can assist a lawyer in legally relieving people of their debts. There are several types of bankruptcy and focusing on that aspect of law would be recommended if this area is an interest for you.
- Criminal Law Paralegal – A paralegal in this area will legally assist criminal defense and prosecution lawyers alike depending on what firm they work for. They will help make a case against or for an accused criminal through paperwork, research, corresponded, witness interviews, and other tasks. If criminal law is something that interests you then this area should be considered and what is focused on through your training in preparation for entering the career.
- Corporate Paralegal – This area of law focuses on corporate, estate, and business transactions ensuring that companies have all their legal needs situated. This includes ensuring that all paperwork and licenses are obtained to file with the state.
How to Become A Paralegal Fast
The easiest and efficient approach to entering the legal field as a Paralegal is by ensuring that you have the necessary skills that are going to be required of you.
To know what those are will allow you to gain and improve those abilities as you go through the process.
The next thing a Paralegal in training must decide is what kind of program fits their needs and goals. They all have benefits and disadvantages.
The last thing to keep in mind if to decide on an area of law that you are going to become an expert in the field that you will work in because the kind of lawyer you work for will change your job task and require different abilities.
It will be useful to decide in advance what path you may choose.