If your favorite Law & Order episodes have piqued your interest in a new career, you’re in luck. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of paralegal and legal assistant jobs is expected to increase by 15 percent—much faster than the average job—by 2026. With the median salary coming in at over $50,000 per year, it’s no surprise that this career is attracting so many people. Here’s what you should know about becoming a paralegal.
What Do Paralegals Do?
According to the American Bar Association (ABA), a paralegal is a qualified person employed by a lawyer, law office, or other entity who performs specific legal tasks as delegated by a lawyer. In other words, paralegals provide support to attorneys, helping with specific tasks, including investigative work and document preparation. Once thought of as secretaries, today’s paralegals have an advanced understanding of the legal system and often take on heavy workloads. Day-to-day, paralegals are engaged in coordinating all aspects of client cases, performing legal research, maintaining contact with clients, interviewing clients and witnesses, and assisting attorneys before and during trials.