Becoming a Paralegal and Legal Assistant
With the legal system playing an integral role in the daily proceedings of our society, it's no wonder that there is such a strong demand for criminal justice and law professionals in every sector. Getting a degree or certificate helps ensure a path to success in your chosen field.
Training to Become a Paralegal
There are still opportunities to participate in the legal practice without obtaining your law degree or attending law school. In a paralegal job, you share many of the same responsibilities as attorneys, often assisting them with court documents, corporate meetings, investigating case facts, and trial preparation.
The training required for a paralegal job is usually the completion of a two-year program resulting in a paralegal certificate or a bachelor's degree paralegal program. If you need to build the foundation of your education before embarking on this specific career track in law, there are many schools through which you can earn your online high school diploma.
The median salaries for paralegals by location are: Los Angeles: $57,200; San Francisco: $59,800; Chicago: $54,700; Detroit: $56,100; Austin: $49,600; Philadelphia: $53,800; Boston: $56,600; New York: $59,900
While a law degree isn't required, being a legal secretary calls upon extensive knowledge of legal proceedings and documents such as subpoenas, summonses, complaints, and motions. In addition to administrative duties, legal secretaries must be adept with current software programs, creating spreadsheets, and dealing in legal correspondence. Often, as a legal secretary, you will assist in the research for cases by reviewing law journals, rulings, and legal databases.
Competitive training to become a legal secretary is usually a two-year associate's degree or a bachelor's degree and administrative experience. Most law firms prefer a solid background working with legal documents and understanding court procedures, so additional certification may be necessary.
The median salaries for legal secretaries by location are: Los Angeles: $37,200; San Francisco: $38,800; Chicago: $35,500; Detroit: $36,400; Austin: $32,200; Philadelphia: $34,900; Boston: $36,800; New York: $38,900
Job prospects are competitive within every facet of law, making work experience and a firm grasp of legal proceedings essential. With proper education and experience, the legal field offers numerous job advancement opportunities.