What Do Paralegals Do?

Posted Wednesday, Nov 3, 2010 by Allen B. Ury

ParalegalFor people interested in a legal career but don’t have the time, resources or interest in going to law school, becoming a paralegal can be a great alternative. In Florida, the median wage for an entry-level paralegal is approximately $15.35 per hour; it rises significantly to $25.82 per hour for workers with several years of experience.[1] Demand for paralegals in Florida is also very high. Between 2010 and 2018, paralegal jobs are expected to have increased approximately 23.5 percent, an increase of more than 840 positions.[2]

It all sounds very promising. But what exactly do paralegals do?

Paralegal Responsibilities

Sometimes referred to as “legal assistants,” paralegals usually work under one or more licensed attorneys, providing valuable support in a number of key areas. Typical paralegal duties include:

  • Conducting interviews with clients to gather background information
  • Corresponding with clients, counsel and others on factual matters
  • Informing client periodically of case/matter status
  • Drafting pleadings and documents
  • Organizing and maintaining forms and client files
  • Preparing clients for court hearings
  • Reviewing legal periodicals and material relevant to a specialty area of law
  • Maintain calendar or tickler system
  • Researching law, including procedural, administrative or case law

Specialized Paralegal Training Required

In most cases, employers such as law firms and government agencies require that candidates for paralegal positions have a specialized background in this field. This may include the minimum of a bachelor’s degree in Paralegal from an accredited college or university.

In the Tampa/St. Petersburg metro area, you can earn such a degree at the Largo campus of Everest University. Everest’s Paralegal bachelor’s degree program is a four-year baccalaureate that prepares students to embark on a career in the paralegal field through interactive learning.

Program courses include:

  • Introduction to Paralegal
  • Criminal Procedure and the Constitution
  • Legal Research and Writing (I & II)
  • Civil Litigation (I & II)
  • Torts
  • Contract Law
  • International Law
  • Rules of Evidence
  • Concepts of Criminal Law

Many of these courses are taught by law professionals whose practical knowledge augments the academic material. Classes are small, which allows students to get plenty of individual attention. And upon graduation, students can take advantage of Everest University’s Career Services department, which can help with resume preparation, interview rehearsals and identification of local job opportunities.

Contact Everest for More Information

For more information about the Paralegal career education program at Everest University’s Largo campus, contact Everest University today!

[1] State of Florida, Agency for Workforce Innovation-Occupational Employment Statistics and Wages (2010)
[2] State of Florida, Agency for Workforce Innovation-Employment Projections (to 2018)

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