Personal Injury Paralegal Job Description and Career Outlook
Personal injury paralegals are some of the most sought-after professionals in the legal industry due to the frequent amount of personal injury claims in the United States. Tort law (the area of law that often deals with personal injury) is also somewhat complex, which makes personal injury legal assistants even more valuable.
Personal Injury Paralegal Job Description and Common Tasks
Personal injury can take many forms and occur in many different ways, which creates the need for a wide skill set in a personal injury paralegal. Major duties will include interviewing clients, taking notes and creating detailed records, conducting legal research, acting as liaison between interested parties and ensuring that proper documents are filed in a timely manner with the court.
A personal injury paralegal may also often deal with medical personnel and documents, and a familiarity with administrative procedures used in the medical field will prove helpful.
Personal injury cases can often lead to trial, and so skills in preparing documents for a courtroom appearance may also be of use. If the case does not go to trial, the paralegal may then have to assist in a settlement negotiation, which also involves research and analysis.
Personal Injury Paralegal Requirements and Training
Most personal injury paralegals begin with a certificate or degree in a classroom or online paralegal program. These can vary in the amount of time they take depending on what type of degree is sought and how much time is devoted to class. Personal injury paralegals, however, usually do not require additional specialized training and a great deal is learned through experience due to the variation and frequency in personal injury cases. There are many facets to the world of personal injury, the law changes often and cases can be very unpredictable, all of which contribute to the need for experience in the field.
Personal Injury Paralegal Salary, Job Outlook and Employers
Personal injury paralegals are in demand most simply because the world is a dangerous place and people get hurt every day. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that paralegals earn a median salary of $46,990 per year and employment is expected to grow 17% for the decade from 2012-2022.1
Schools Offering Paralegal Degree Programs
- Paralegal Studies, AA (Online Only)
- Legal Studies, BA (Online)
Penn Foster Schools
Stratford Career Institute
- Legal Assistant/Paralegal
- CERT: Paralegal Studies
- Certificate: Paralegal (Legal Studies)
- A.S. in Legal Studies
- B.S. in Legal Studies
- AS in Paralegal (Online)
Concord Law School
- Executive J.D. SM Program
- Juris Doctor Program
More law-related careers:
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/legal/paralegals-and-legal-assistants.htm
Page Edited by Charles Sipe.