Paralegal Job Description & Career Outlook

A paralegal, or legal assistant, typically works in private law firms and performs many of the tasks of attorneys. Paralegals assist attorneys by preparing for hearings, trials, and meetings. A paralegal job description includes investigation of the facts of a case, collection of documents from a variety of sources, and legal case research. In a paralegal career, you prepare written reports and legal documents, draft pleadings and motions to be filed with the court, and assist attorneys during trials. Outside of courtroom preparation, they may prepare civil documents such as wills, contracts, mortgages, and separation agreements. In spite of all of these duties, they are prohibited from doing tasks that are considered “practicing law.” Visit the Paralegal Degree page to learn how to become a paralegal.

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Paralegal Salary and Benefits

paralegal studies degreeA paralegal salary often depends on education, training, years of experience, the location of the job, and law firm size. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for paralegals in the United States is $46,730 and the top 10% earn a median annual salary of $75,400 as of May 2011.1 A paralegal career affords benefits such as bonuses, vacation, paid sick leave, health and life insurance, and reimbursement for participation in continuing legal education seminars.

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Paralegal Career and Job Outlook

The BLS projects that job growth for paralegals will be 18% from 2010-2020.2 Demand for paralegals grows as the legal profession grows. Recent growth in areas like intellectual property law, healthcare law, elder issues, and environmental law contributes to the demand, and thus the increased need for paralegals. The best employment opportunities are for those who are experienced paralegals and those who have formal education and training. Earning a national paralegal certification can also help improve employment prospects and typically requires a paralegal degree from an accredited school. Request free information on how to become a paralegal so you can start you paralegal career.

Online Paralegal Degrees & Training from Accredited Schools

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Penn Foster Schools
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • Paralegal

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Liberty University
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • CERT: Paralegal Studies

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Virginia College
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • BAC-Paralegal Studies
  • AS - Paralegal Studies

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Bryan University
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • Associate Degree in Litigation and E-Discovery Paralegal

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Concord Law School
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • Executive J.D. SM Program
  • Juris Doctor Program

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Keiser University
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • Legal Studies, BA (Online)

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Grand Canyon University
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • M.S. in Criminal Justice: Legal Studies


References:
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes232011.htm
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Legal/Paralegals-and-legal-assistants.htm

Page Edited by Charles Sipe.