Is a Paralegal Career Right for You? 4 Skills You Need to Succeed

legal assistantSo, you are thinking about becoming a legal assistant. But, are you sure it’s the right decision?

Being a paralegal, just like any other profession, has its challenges. If you consider working in law firms, you will face the same obstacles other people encountered during their search for employment: how to get started and what skill set is essential to secure the job.

Before you take a paralegal training certificate course, educational institution The Center for Legal Studies (CLS) says it’s important to know the skills necessary for success.

Communication

Effective communication is a must in law practice. Whether you are contacting people for research, interviewing new clients, taking the statement of a witness or scheduling court appointments, it would be your responsibility to talk and communicate clearly with others. You are the lawyer’s right hand, after all.

Research and Investigative

Successful legal assistants have solid investigative skills in criminal, civil, and transactional contexts. Researching and learning to analyze case information are other core paralegal skills.

Prioritizing

When you become a legal assistant, expect that you are not just going to handle one case or task. This means you should have the ability to juggle multiple tasks, while balancing competing priorities. For instance, you need to interview a witness, then e-mail a client and research a legal issue at the same time.

Writing

When you become a paralegal, your duty is to draft pleadings, documents, and briefs – both easy and complicated cases. Keep in mind that writing is integral to the paralegal career, so those who perfect it find their job lucrative.

The paralegal profession has been one of the hottest careers in the United States for years, and with many good reasons. If you enjoy helping others and like the idea of handling more responsibilities for the public, then this is the right career move for you.

3 Comments on Is a Paralegal Career Right for You? 4 Skills You Need to Succeed

  1. Wendy M. Marion // January 5, 2015 at 8:58 am // Reply

    Nice! I think the article is great, but you forgot to mention how technology skills are also important. It is the most sought-after skill these days. A legal assistant should know how to work with spreadsheet, database, presentation, and legal research software.

  2. Daron E. Yang // January 6, 2015 at 2:55 am // Reply

    As a right hand, lawyers always rely on paralegals. I believe the four skills discussed are the most important ones. Without it, no one can gain a competitive edge in today’s legal market.

  3. Annette J. Olson // January 6, 2015 at 3:59 am // Reply

    It’s a paralegal’s responsibility to know and understand the necessary skill set to succeed in the industry. Apart from professional ethics and rules, a legal assistant must expand knowledge and skills.

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