Paralegals are employed in law offices, corporations, and government departments. The occupation is also referred to as a legal assistant. The profile typically involves helping lawyers and attorneys prepare documents and information for case hearings and closings, as well as important business meetings. Paralegal training is essential prior to taking up desirable employment in this field.
Paralegals can specialize in various areas of law, this can involve personal injury, litigation, criminal law, corporate law, intellectual property rights, labor law, immigration, bankruptcy, and real estate. The skills that are learnt can be provided in the form of formal education or on the job training. Though certification is not a legal prerequisite, it is still an important document to be in possession of when applying for a position.
On the job training is usually given to those individuals that would like to switch careers within a company or business. Paralegals that are trained in the workplace may start out as an office assistant or a receptionist. Over time, it is possible to be given the skills and knowledge relating to various legal procedures and duties. When taking on the job training, the latest certification is important to ensure future opportunities are made available.
It is possible to enroll for a paralegal diploma course. These are typically short in duration, often no more than a year or eighteen months long. Diploma programs are available from vocational schools, community colleges, and also in the online domain. The syllabus that is given would depend upon the educational establishment. Most diploma programs include modules in legal studies, tax law, family law, research, and legal writing.
Holding more prestige than a diploma, an associate degree would take longer to complete, typically twenty four months. The program would be more in-depth and also involve general education classes. Associate degrees are on offer from a wide range of schools and colleges.
If you would like to start out in a more senior position with a renowned firm, it can be desirable to enroll for a bachelor’s degree. Most paralegal degree programs would be of three or four year’s duration. Topics covered would include advanced modules such as Advanced Legal Analysis and Legal Document Preparation.
There are a number of paralegal certification organizations in the US. The most well-known include the National Association of Legal Assistants, and the National Association for Legal Professionals. The correct certification can increase job prospects considerably.
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