They typically assist attorneys in researching the facts of each case, writing reports and assist lawyers during trials. A bachelor’s degree in legal studies is not required by all employers, but it might help you gain an edge over the competition for entry-level roles. And juggling all of these duties for many cases at a time requires top-notch organizational skills., Generally, paralegals work at least 40 hours per week, but sometimes put in more time than that to meet deadlines. Bankruptcy can involve many steps, including attending meetings between attorneys for both parties to take notes and to make records, drafting applications, petitions, and schedules, conducting real property searches to establish known assets, ordering appraisals, interviewing various individuals, and preparing for hearings. In the five largest US states by population, paralegal salaries are as follows: Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2018.3. Most professional organizations, including the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) and the National Federation of Paralegals (NFP), recommend choosing a program that is approved by the American Bar Association (ABA). Coursework includes required general education classes, core paralegal courses, and upper division legal courses. However, you will undergo a certificate training plus at least 6 months of in-house paralegal training. Alison Monahan wrote about legal careers for The Balance Careers. So you know you want to become a paralegal. There are many other law-related careers that you may be interested in if being a paralegal interests you. Accessed May 23, 2020. The BLS predicts that the industries with the strongest job growth for paralegals over the next few years will be finance firms, insurance firms, consulting firms, and healthcare providers.1, A 2018 National Association of Legal Assistants & Paralegals (NALA) study on paralegal salaries indicated that the average annual paralegal salary was $67,578.2 This survey reported that this average compensation increased 9.6% over 2016.2 The BLS provides a significantly lower number, listing the average salary for paralegals in 2015 at $50,940, with the highest-earning 10% of paralegals making over $82,050 per year.1 The main driver for the disparity is likely the level of professional involvement of self-selected respondents to the NALA survey as well as sample sizes; the NALA survey results are based on 1,112 responses, whereas the BLS uses much larger data sets compiled from nationwide long-term population information from the US Census Bureau and other state and federal agencies.1,2. "Directory of ABA Approved Paralegal Education Programs." References:1. Accessed May 23, 2020. 10 Certificate Programs That Lead to High-Paying Jobs, The 8 Best Things About a Paralegal Career. Immigration paralegals generally assist attorneys and help clients through the process of becoming a naturalized citizen, a legal resident, or to help a US citizen go through the immigration process for adopting a child from abroad. Accessed May 23, 2020. There are at least 4 main types of formal paralegal education and training. In addition to earning a degree or certificate in paralegal studies, paralegals may choose national certification, which is awarded by the national professional paralegal associations. Most states don’t have an official requirement that you must graduate from high school, however, as a practical matter, anyone wanting to become a paralegal should treat their high school diploma as a must. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 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