Paralegal jobs perform a range of duties that involve supporting attorneys. Preparing documents, organizing information, and even preparing written reports to assist with the attorney's workload are several aspects that are within the scope of tasks for paralegals. An important task for legal assistants is helping lawyers prepare for closings, trials, and hearings and corporate meetings. Most paralegal work can be found within law firms while other positions can be found with corporate legal departments and government agencies.
Although some employers opt to train on the job, a paralegal job calls for a bachelor's degree or an associate degree. There are opportunities to exist for those willing to gain an advantage over the competition. The National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) has initiated the basics for certification in the field. The credentials Certified Paralegal (CP) or Certified Legal Assistant (CLA) may be used upon passing the appropriate 2 day examination. Paralegal jobs with inexperienced persons can see a smaller variety of work while persons with more experience can see additional tasks and responsibilities.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the availability of paralegal careers is expected to increase 22 percent through 2006 and 2016. There has been a shift in employment trends since most employers are trying to cut costs and hire legal assistants and paralegals to execute duties that lawyers would normally do. Since paralegal employment is affected by the business cycle, once the demand for discretionary legal services rises there will be additional job openings to reflect the stabilized economy.
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