You have a special aptitude for the law, but do you think you possess the qualities to succeed in the paralegal profession?
Legalstudies.com, says that online paralegal courses students undergo vigorous training and legal education before they can call themselves paralegal. Beyond legal knowledge and skills, what other features and traits should a competent paralegal have?
Good communication skills
This covers both verbal and nonverbal communication skills. As a paralegal, you will be spending a bulk of your time interacting with people. When dealing with clients, you should know what appropriate questions to ask and what body language to use so you can exude authority and confidence.
As much as speaking, you also need to have good listening abilities to be able to gather relevant information. This is particularly crucial when interviewing witnesses.
Good writing skills
A lot of what you’re going to learn in legal studies is the discipline of writing, because like interacting, you will also be doing a lot of writing as a paralegal. An important point is that you will be talking to clients under the assumption that they have no knowledge of the legal technical jargons. Thus, a good paralegal is able to draft legal correspondence for clients in the clearest and most concise way possible. You can’t persuade your clients if they can’t understand what you’re saying.
Good research skills
You should also have a good handle on research if you want to succeed as a paralegal. Attorneys usually send out their paralegals to gather all relevant information about a case as if they’re private investigators. As the paralegal, you will be going through documents after documents of available data, either from the internet or legal databases.
Ability to Multitask
It’s the job of the paralegal to meet with a client, schedule an appointment and conduct a research. In some cases, all three tasks will be given at the same time. By knowing how to prioritize and compartmentalize, a good paralegal is able to work through the demands of various projects simultaneously and cope with the stress.
Ultimately, a good paralegal is someone who enjoys the daily challenges of working in the field of law and derives pleasure from the different rigors of each case. Competence may help you thrive in the paralegal profession, but passion is what’s going to make you stay.