How to Become a Criminal Law Paralegal
Paralegals in the criminal law field do much of the work that other paralegals do (filing and drafting paperwork, performing legal research, etc.). Criminal law paralegals are integral to the preparation of a case by performing research and interviewing witnesses and possible co-defendants.
Criminal Law Paralegal Qualifications, Requirements and Common Tasks
A criminal law paralegal is qualified when they have obtained all the necessary education and training needed to work in criminal justice such as having a two or four year degree, as well as paralegal training and criminal law specialization.
Paralegals in this field have extensive knowledge of local, state and federal laws as well as court procedure. Criminal law paralegals are tasked with interviewing clients and witnesses as well as gathering research to help build cases for or against individuals depending on whether they work for the District Attorney or a private firm. Many criminal law paralegals also have degrees in criminal justice to further their understanding of the legal system and its procedures as well as increase the chances of employment.
Criminal Law Paralegal Salary, Job Outlook and Employers
As with any field, paralegal work salary depends on several factors. Experience, certification and specialization are just a few of the factors that determine salary. If a person has a two or four year degree with criminal law specific focus, they will have a better chance to become employed and be paid more. The Bureau Labor of Statistics reports that paralegals make a median salary of $46,990 per year.1 Individual salary can depend on geographical region and whether a person works for the D.A. or a private firm. According to Legal Assistant Today, criminal law paralegal salaries and job openings are expected to grow. Private law firms are the biggest employer of paralegals in this field (and many other fields) while the government and some interest groups employ the rest.
Featured Paralegal and Criminal Justice Programs
University of Phoenix
- A.A. in Criminal Justice
- B.S. in Criminal Justice Administration
- B.S in Criminal Justice Administration/Cybercrimes
- PhD in Criminal Justice - Public Management and Leadership-Advanced
- PhD in Criminal Justice - Online Teaching in Higher Education-Advanced
- B.S. in Criminal Justice - Crime and Criminals
Florida Tech University Online
- Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice
- Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice/Homeland Security
- Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
California University of Pennsylvania
- Master of Science in Legal Studies: Criminal Justice
- Master of Science in Legal Studies: Law and Public Policy
- Bachelor of Arts in Jurisprudence: Legal Studies
Colorado Technical University Online
- Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
- Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice: Human Services
- Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice - Cybercrime and Security
Penn Foster Schools
- Legal Secretary
- Certificate: Paralegal (Legal Studies)
- B.S. in Human Services / Criminal Justice
- B.S. in Criminal Justice - Law Enforcement
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/legal/paralegals-and-legal-assistants.htm
Page Edited by Charles Sipe.