College Grads Look to Online Paralegal Certification
If you already hold a bachelor degree, earning a paralegal certificate in addition to your four-year coursework puts you on par with the majority of newly minted paralegals. This fact is revealed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics(1) (BLS), which also points out that the paralegal field is highly competitive. Only those candidates with a solid and specialized education may hope for lucrative employment at law firms, corporate legal departments, governmental agencies, consumer advocacy groups or within the court system.
After obtaining an online paralegal certification, candidates are well trained to assist attorneys with all kinds of client interactions, except for offering legal advice or actually representing a client in court. On the flip side, a paralegal works with clients to prepare them for a court experience, solicits material and information from them, contracts with ancillary personnel – such as process servers and private investigators – as directed by the attorney, and prepares legal briefs and correspondence. Depending on the practice of law in which a paralegal chooses to operate, there are a number of specialized tasks that await the highly skilled candidate.
Salaries vary, depending not only on the level of education a paralegal possesses, but also on the employer and the level of specialized additional training s/he has received. Generally speaking, the BLS estimates the median annual salary of a paralegal to be right around $43,040, with those employed by the federal government being at the top of the pay scale.