The paralegal job description covers a wide array of duties and responsibilities. In general, paralegals assist their employers by preparing for court cases, researching legal documents, securing affidavits, and more. Your paralegal training will include classes and possibly internships that will give you the skills needed perform the tasks associated with the paralegal job description.
What Does a Paralegal Do?
A paralegal’s job description generally depends on their work and environment and who their employer is. However, whether you are working for a corporate law firm or a government agency, the general paralegal job description will give you a basic idea of the type of work expected of you. As a paralegal, your job will involve:
- Researching laws and records relevant to your employer’s cases
- Securing evidence to be used in court
- Organizing information and writing reports
- Assisting lawyers during trials
As you can see from the paralegal job description, paralegals are an essential part of the legal process. While they are not responsible for actually practicing the law, the work paralegals do forms a major backbone for court cases and other legal proceedings.
Paralegal Work Environments
The main factor determining your specific paralegal job description will be your employer and work environment. For example, a paralegal working for the federal government may be given different responsibilities than one working for a small law firm. When you are searching for paralegal jobs, research the attorneys or groups you are seeking employment from. You may learn valuable information that could help you decide between two jobs or seek another one altogether.
While your paralegal job description may depend on where you work, your paralegal training will prepare you for your career no matter what path you pursue. As a paralegal, you can expect to complete most of your work in an office, in addition to libraries while you are performing research.
How Are Paralegals Different From Legal Assistants?
While the legal assistant and paralegal job description is similar, there are some differences. For years the two terms have been used interchangeably, and the National Association of Legal Assistants considers the two professions to be the same. However, in recent years, the paralegal job description and has begun to diverge from that of legal assistants.
In general, paralegals and legal assistants receive similar training. Paralegals however usually take more classes related to legal terms and the law. Legal assistants work closer with attorneys and may have a stronger focus on secretarial work. The paralegal job description includes more responsibilities associated with research and assisting in court cases.
Paralegal Job Opportunities
Paralegal jobs are growing at a rate on par with other career fields. Your chances of finding a job and your paralegal salary will depend on a number of factors. By earning a degree, in addition to seeking paralegal certification, you can increase your chances of becoming hired. Read more about the paralegal job description to find out if the career interests you and enroll in a paralegal school to begin your training!