If you love watching serial crime shows and movies where the major characters are lawyers, you’ve probably had imagined yourself having the same roles. Yet, in every case—in fiction and in real life—there is one character that seldom gets the spotlight. This character is instrumental in moving the case along and keeping firms running: the paralegal.
In a way, paralegals are the unsung heroes of law firms. If you’re considering a career in law or public service but don’t have the time to go to law school just yet, you can take online paralegal courses. In the United States, the demand for paralegals is increasing, so you might quickly find a job after finishing your course.
You must have the following characteristics to become an effective paralegal:
You find repetitive, tedious work a good challenge to take on
Paralegals just starting out often handle lots of secretarial work, such as billing, scheduling, data entry, and other tasks that get tedious after some time but are all necessary to make sure a law firm keeps running. If you are detail-oriented, have good computer skills, and enjoy doing paperwork, you can absolutely shine at being a paralegal.
The thought of working long hours motivates you
Being employed in a law firm means working closely with attorneys and helping them meet their deadlines. You would also be drafting pleadings, dealing with clients directly, doing research, and making sure an attorney has everything he or she needs when going to trial. All these tasks would require you to work long hours. If you manage stress well and work best under pressure, a paralegal career would be a good fit for you.
You don’t care for fancy titles
Paralegals have no fancy titles, but they know their worth to the firm and to the clients they serve. If you care more about the work and the people you are helping rather than being in a lofty position, you may find paralegal work greatly satisfying.
Does becoming a paralegal sound good to you? If yes, then now is the time for you to use it as an entry point to the legal field.