1. Describe the career.
What are the typical job duties? A paralegal is a legal assistant to a lawyer who assists them in performing legal services. The paralegal could be qualified for the job by education, work experience, and is employed or is under the training of an attorney, a law office or corporation (“Paralegals And Legal Assistants : Occupational Outlook Handbook: : U.S. Bureau Of Labor Statistics”). The typical job duties for a paralegal involve assisting the lawyers in resolving a lawsuit through various ways. They are mandated to handle and investigate the facts of a case and report the same to the lawyer, interview of the witnesses that are of help in supporting their case in court, doing research in legal matters on behalf of the lawyer for a particular case, and draft pleas, motions, exhibits and subpoenas (Brown 1975, pg117). They are also responsible for filing of documents in court and help in the hearing, arbitration, mediation, and other court proceedings. The work that the paralegal can do is mostly determined by the lawyer they work under of the law firm they work for.
2. What are your personality strengths that match this career?
I have several personality traits that match my career as a paralegal. One is that I am focused on maximum input into whatever I do. This means that I am willing to put in long hours to accomplish any task that I am assigned. I am also a responsible person. This quality makes me suitable to handle the delicate case files and other documents without the worry of loss. I am very empathetic as I understand the general responsibilities that come with the job and the long working hours that lawyers have to endure in carrying out different legal matters. Another suitable quality that I posses suitable for this job is that I am an achiever. I always strive to achieve the days goals in every way possible which will be very valuable to the attorney I will work under.
3. How does this career match your interests on the choices planner interest profiler (or strong interest inventory) assessment?
My interests on the choice planner interest profiler are legal services and legal enforcement services. This career matches these interests since I will be responsible for the investigation of the facts about various cases in my duty to assist the lawyer I will work under in resolving lawsuits. I will also provide more legal services such as interviewing of witnesses to ensure that I gather evidence for cases in a bid to ensure that there is legal enforcement in the cases I handle. Every activity that I take part in during my job according to my job description perfectly fit in my interests.
4. What are some advantages and disadvantages of working on this career?
here will always be the need for lawyers and they will always need dependable paralegals to help them at their job so the career has some sort of longevity (Johnstone 2007, pg 737).ii. The compensation for the job in terms of the salary for paralegals has continued to rise over the years despite some of the hard economic challenges that have been experienced in the country.iii. Paralegals can get their degrees in a way shorter period of time than most other careers. This give the individual more time to gain experience on the field after schooliv. Working as a paralegal in a firm give opportunities in advancement in the career either in the legal field or management. Finally, being a paralegal puts one in a position that they can help others in society who may be going through very difficult situations in life. This feeling of being able to help is very rewarding.
The career requires that one puts in very long hours of work in order to manage the heavy workload they have. This leaves no time for other activities such as leisure activities.ii. At the entry level the job of a paralegal is one that is full of a tedious routine since the crucial work is left for the senior paralegals.
5. What is the typical pay outlook?
The median annual pay for paralegal and other legal assistants is $49500 as at May 2016 (“Paralegals And Legal Assistants : Occupational Outlook Handbook: U.S. Bureau Of Labor Statistics”). However the top 10% of paralegals earn over $74410. These salaries are expected to rise over the years
6. What are the educational requirements?
7. What interesting facts did your discover?
There are not universally accepted educational requirements for paralegals hence one can take different paths. The educational options that an individual can choose to take are pursuing certificate and degree programs approved by the American Bar Association. Very few of the offered degree programs are actually approved by the American Bar Association because of the requirement that they must offer at least ten semester hours of their courses in a classroom.
A paralegal is well equipped to work as a private investigator. This is because they have learnt to study the papers provided and conducting online research in order to gather evidence which is exactly what a private investigator does. They have the information gathering skills to sift through a lot of information to find facts which are crucial skills for both careers.
8. Sources of information
“Paralegals And Legal Assistants : Occupational Outlook Handbook: U.S. Bureau Of Labor Statistics.” Bls.Gov, 2017, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/legal/paralegals-and-legal-assistants.htm?view_full.
Brown, Helen P. “The Paralegal Profession.” Howard LJВ 19 (1975): 117.Johnstone, Quintin. “An Overview of the Legal Profession in the United States, How That Profession Recently Has Been Changing, and Its Future Prospects.” QLRВ 26 (2007): 737.