Paralegals serve as the support crew for lawyers. They perform research, manage files, prepare documents, and accompany attorneys at depositions and trials. The responsibilities of a paralegal may vary depending on the area they work in and the size of their firm or business.
The main responsibility for a paralegal is to complete legal, business or regulatory research for lawyers. Paralegals help prepare lawyers for trials, hearings and corporate meetings. They maintain and prepare legal documents in filing systems, collect and review data, gather evidence and investigate facts for cases. Paralegals must have good communication skills as they interact with colleagues, attorneys and other legal support staff. Contacting clients, lawyers and witnesses to schedule meetings, interviews and depositions is another aspect of the career.
Become a Paralegal
Gain all the skills needed to become a paralegal from professors who have real-world experience. The fully online, convenient program lets students manage their schedules and balance studies with other responsibilities.Explore Degree
Typically, paralegals work 40 hours a week, though overtime may be required in order to meet deadlines. Most of their work is completed in-office, but travel may be necessary for research, attending trials and depositions with attorneys and acquiring documents.
Paralegal Salary Details
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) said that in 2016 the median annual wage for paralegals was $49,500 per year. Paralegal employment is expected to grow 15 percent through 2026, which is much faster than the national average of 7 percent. In the future, law firms might continue maximizing the efficiency of their legal services and will hire more paralegals. Paralegals are also a lower-cost option to lawyers for some legal services, and firms may expand their paralegal workforce.
An associate degree is usually sufficient for obtaining an entry-level paralegal job. However, many employers prefer that candidates have bachelor’s degrees. Many paralegals have backgrounds in one field, such as criminal justice, plus a certification in paralegal studies. This certification is not typically required.
An online bachelor’s in criminal justice administration from Campbellsville University can be the perfect stepping stone for those wanting to become a paralegal. Upon graduation, students are ready to enter a paralegal career. Students will gain all the skills they need from professors who have real-world experience. The fully online, convenient program lets students keep their hectic schedules.