If you are looking for a rewarding job in the legal field, you should consider becoming a paralegal. As a paralegal, also known as a legal assistant, your tasks will vary and include everything from doing research and clerical work to interviewing clients. Paralegals can work in any area of the law including criminal, tax, estate, and family law among others. You do not need formal education or training to become a paralegal, but it is useful and can give you a competitive edge when looking for employment.
These paralegal training programs differ widely in length. You can attain an associate’s degree from colleges and universities. It usually takes two years to earn an associate’s degree if you attend full time. Most paralegals earn an associate’s degree, but you can also earn a bachelor’s degree or even an advanced degree in the field. You can further your career as a paralegal if you already have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree by enrolling in a certificate program that develops your skills in a specific area. An alternative to attending a traditional college is to go through an accredited online program, which allows you to train at home. Make sure the program you choose is accredited. With the variety of programs offered, you can find the one that best suits your lifestyle. Some people who have worked in other fields such as criminal justice or tax preparation get the rest of their training on the job.
The job growth opportunities for paralegals are also believed to be excellent as paralegals take on more of the duties traditionally performed by lawyers. The majority of paralegals work at private law firms, but there are also positions available in the public sector for both the government and non-profit organizations. Many people are choosing to become paralegals because of the potential and job growth opportunities.