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The Paralegal Note, Issue #002 -- 3 Elements To A Winning Paralegal Career
April 11, 2012
3 Elements To A Winning Paralegal Career
There is a lot of interest in the paralegal career. Not everyone endeavors to become an attorney and a paralegal position can be quite challenging and rewarding. A lot will be expected of you as you work closely with the attorneys you support.
To begin with, getting into the paralegal profession requires education. It is possible to obtain on-the-job training, but these opportunities are few and far between. Your best bet is to obtain an associate’s degree or paralegal certificate from a program approved by the American Bar Association.
ABA approval is important as most law offices consider it to be a means by which to judge the quality of a paralegal program. Chances are if a paralegal program meets the ABA’s approval, than attorneys will know its curriculum is adequately preparing its candidates for immediate placement in the paralegal field.
Internships cannot be underscored enough either. They are often your first entry into the law office. They provide a unique learning opportunity for the paralegal candidate that really could not be obtained otherwise.
Internships allow you to see firsthand what a law firm expects of your role and you also can evaluate how the firm practices law, serves its clients, meets deadlines and more.
Obtaining an internship also allows you to foster connections and network within the legal community. It is very possible a job offer could be waiting for you upon completion of your paralegal studies. If not, you will still have the benefit of making connections in the legal field that can help you further on.
Lastly, no task is too small. It isn’t likely you will get your dream job upon graduation. Most likely you will do tasks that may not be what you want, but everyone has to start somewhere. Over time and as you prove your worth, you’ll be given more challenging tasks along with better compensation and performance bonuses.
The paralegal field is very broad with lots of opportunities. With ABA approved education, some experience under your belt from an internship and a willingness to work hard, you can develop a rewarding career for yourself.
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