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How To Become A Paralegal With Formal Training

A career as a paralegal is a great way to break into the legal industry without actually obtaining a license to practice law. A paralegal can assist attorneys with anything from legal research to document preparation and filing within the court system. This aspect of legal practice is essential to the operation of any company or law firm. Before actually entering a career as a paralegal, it is important to understand the necessary steps to get there.

Many people mistakenly believe that paralegals are required to work with a law firm, however, there are a wide range of jobs for legal assistants outside of the law office. Many businesses require expertise in certain legal issues on a daily basis, so they hire people with knowledge as a paralegal. Careers like real estate, immigration, labor relations, entertainment industries, banks, and certain government organizations require someone who is knowledgeable in specific areas of law.

While a degree as a paralegal is not necessarily required with every company, it certainly goes a long way when looking for a job as a legal assistant. While many traditional colleges and universities offer major programs in the paralegal field, there are also two year programs for an Associate’s Degree offered by community colleges. Some high schools even have programs which can help prepare students for a career as a legal assistant. For those who have already received a degree but do not have any formal training as a paralegal, there are programs to certify people in paralegal studies.

When choosing what type of schooling to get for a career as a paralegal, it is helpful to know whether or not the program has been approved by the American Bar Association (ABA). Though not all businesses require a legal assistant with training from an ABA approved program, it can give a leg up in the competition when looking for a job. Some schools even offer internship programs which can help students to get practical experience in their field before actually entering the work force.

When training to become a paralegal, there are a variety of courses that students can be expected to take. Courses focusing on things like legal writing and research, rules of evidence, and contract law are essential to anyone aspiring to be a legal assistant. Some classes can even teach specified areas of law like litigations, criminal law, torts, and real estate law. Programs usually teach students how to properly use legal applications on the computer. Even though a professional paralegal may have undergone formal training, it is usually required that they take seminar and training class throughout their career to keep up with changing aspects of the legal system.

A career as a paralegal is great for anyone interested in law without the desire to actually practice law. There are several options for training to become a legal assistant. Though many of these people go on to work at law firms, the career opportunities for a paralegal are limitless.

Read articles about what a paralegal’s job duties are. Learn tips for selecting a college to get your paralegal certifications. Find out what training you need for the paralegal profession. Discover all of this and more at