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Paralegal Studies - A unique profession

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Paralegal Studies - A unique profession

In recent years, the profession of a paralegal has seen an explosive growth. According to reports, the paralegal profession will see a greater increase in the future. This profession is known to be challenging yet rewarding. It demands strong professional skills, a firm ethical foundation and higher levels of knowledge.

If your are looking for something unique and if law interests you, paralegal studies is a great option.

This section is about who, what and how of paralegal studies. Read further to know more on this unique profession.

Who is a Paralegal?
Paralegal is defined as a person who is qualified through education, training or work experience to perform substantive legal work. This requires knowledge of legal concepts and are not exclusively performed by a lawyer.

Paralegals are hired or employed by a lawyer, law office, governmental agency or other entity that is authorised by administrative, statutory or court authority.

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What are the responsibilities of a Paralegal?

  • Paralegal is generally a part of the support staff in most law firms.
  • You can be a direct assistant to a single attorney.
  • Being a paralegal you will have to do a great deal of paperwork and research.
  • Tasks you perform may free up lawyers, so they can work on larger cases.

Duties as a paralegal also include:

  • Interaction with clients
  • Preparation of cases
  • Perform legal research
  • Provide assistance to lawyers in the courtroom

Though you are a certified paralegal, you cannot set legal fees, offer legal advice or present cases in a court of law.

Where do Paralegals work?

  • Paralegals are employed in almost every office where legal work is performed.
  • Paralegals can gain employment in private law firms, banks, corporations, insurance agencies, courts, government agencies, accounting firms, title companies, engineering firms, construction companies and legal aid offices.
  • Generally, paralegals work with attorneys or with individuals who are explicitly authorised by statute court authority.

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    How to earn a Paralegal degree?
    For a successful career as a paralegal, finding the right programme that fits your educational and career goals is important. For a career as a paralegal, there are different pathways. First thing you need to decide is what type of paralegal degree you want to pursue.

    Paralegal programmes include several levels of degrees including:

    • One year certificate or diploma: Certificate programmes can be finished in 1-2 years. It is the most economical and fastest way to paralegal education.
    • Associate's Degree: Associate degree programmes take two years to complete. These programmes are mostly designed for people who work during the day.
    • Bachelor's degree: Bachelor degree programmes are of four-year college or universities.
    • Master's degree: A few universities offer master's degree programmes in legal studies.
    • Online Paralegal Programmes: Online programmes are good for those who seek additional flexibility and convenience.

    Indian Law Institute, Delhi offers online certificate courses in law, click to know more.

    What are career advancements for a paralegal?

    • Qualified and experienced paralegals are qualified to search for several opportunities within career fields like law firms, government agencies or insurance companies.
    • Advanced career opportunities are available based on performance of an individual and personal skills and knowledge.

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