Being a Paralegal – What it Entails
It has been rated as the 17th best job in the USA, a lofty position indeed when you consider the fact that the list had 200 jobs. And the reason the paralegal profession was able to secure this place was because it required relatively little education, involved a lower amount of on the job stress, and because the demand for paralegals is on the rise and expected to continue to go up. But surveys aside, what do paralegals really do? What does a typical day in the life of a paralegal entail?
- A paralegal may not be a lawyer, but they still have to understand all the complexities of any case they are working on.
- Some paralegals may have to work with clients as well, depending on the nature of the case. They are involved in talking to people and getting information relating to the case from them.
- They are involved in routine work that includes following various procedures and filling a large number of forms.
- At the same time, they may also be involved in sorting out complex cases and organizing data and information pertaining to the case.
- Paralegals are usually involved in detail work, the likes of which some people may look at as grunge work. They need to be meticulous and capable of holding their concentration so that they don’t get their facts mixed up or wrong.
- They must be good at organization and be able to process the information needed from a mound of facts and figures related to the case.
- Paralegals are not secretaries who are involved in routine and mundane work. They are often entrusted with tasks that involve a greater amount of responsibility that must be carried out meticulously with no room for errors.
- They spend most of their time doing research on cases on the Internet, which means they need to have good search skills.
- They must be able to know what the attorneys who are working on the case require and be prepared with the relevant information when needed.
- Paralegals are generally expected to do whatever is necessary in the preparation of a case and in the line of routine office work.
- They should be willing to take a backseat to the lawyers, even if they’ve done most of the groundwork on a case.
- A good and successful paralegal is not someone who knows everything, but someone who is willing to learn on the job, ask questions when they’re not sure so that they don’t make mistakes and work constantly on improving their skills so that they become more efficient at their jobs.
This guest post was contributed by Donna Mitchell, who regularly writes on the topic of online paralegal schools. She welcomes your comments and questions at her email address: firstname.lastname@example.org