How Long Does It Take, What Degree Do You Need, and More.
What degree do you need
One of the most common questions that we always get is what major or degree do I need to become Paralegals and Legal Assistants or what courses do I need to take.
We also asked Paralegals and Legal Assistants what did they major in college or university and here are the top 5 most popular majors that came up.
Most paralegals and legal assistants have an associate’s degree in paralegal studies, or a bachelor’s degree in another field and a certificate in paralegal studies. The majority of paralegals and legal assistants hold a bachelor’s degree when they got the job.
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How hard is it
You may need some previous work-related skill, knowledge or experience to be a Paralegal and Legal Assistant. For example, an electrician must complete three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
Careers in this difficulty category will usually need 1 or 2 years of on-the-job training and informal training with experienced workers. These careers usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Similar careers include hydroelectric production managers, travel agents, electricians, court reporters, and medical assistants.
License and certifications
Although not required by most employers, earning voluntary certification may help applicants get a paralegal job. Many national and local paralegal organizations offer voluntary paralegal certifications to students able to pass an exam. Other organizations offer voluntary paralegal certifications for paralegals who meet certain experience and education criteria. For more information about paralegal certifications, see the Contacts for More Info section.
We asked other Paralegals and Legal Assistants if they could only have 5 skills, what would they be. Here is what they said.
Just like any other job, you will need certain know-hows to excel at your job. Paralegals and Legal Assistants are generally very knowledgeable in these 5 key areas.
search real estate records, examine titles, or summarize pertinent legal or insurance documents or details for a variety of purposes. May compile lists of mortgages, contracts, and other instruments pertaining to titles by searching public and private records for law firms, real estate agencies, or title insurance companies.
represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, or manage or advise clients on legal transactions. May specialize in a single area or may practice broadly in many areas of law.
arbitrate, advise, adjudicate, or administer justice in a court of law. May sentence defendant in criminal cases according to government statutes or sentencing guidelines. May determine liability of defendant in civil cases. May perform wedding ceremonies.
facilitate negotiation and conflict resolution through dialogue. Resolve conflicts outside of the court system by mutual consent of parties involved.
assist lawyers by investigating facts, preparing legal documents, or researching legal precedent. Conduct research to support a legal proceeding, to formulate a defense, or to initiate legal action.
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