A paralegal is as important in a law firm as water is to a fish! Without paralegal services, there won’t be a single day where attorneys will not complain about their jobs. In very simple words, paralegal services make attorneys’ jobs easier.
what exactly do paralegal services include?
We know paralegals perform delegated legal work for lawyers. But what are these delegated legal jobs?
- Assist lawyers during the trial
- Research on legal cases
- Client evaluation
- Create litigation documents
- Present information
- Checks facts of a case
- Help to get evidence and formal statements
The standard definition of what a paralegal does or what paralegal services offer defines all the above jobs. But a paralegal’s job is much more than just this. Good paralegals handle long queues of tasks like pros without messing it up even during the most irritating situations.
It is safe to say: that paralegals are magicians and miracle workers to a law firm!
A paralegal is the starting stage and most sought-after job by law students or aspiring lawyers. Good paralegals focus on the details. As appealing as it sounds, being a good paralegal comes with an impressive set of skills with a dash of tips and tricks!
Everything you need to know to be a good paralegal
It takes lots of sparkle to be a paralegal.”unknown
Every job demands a specific set of skills. Whether it’s a salesman or a businessman, without essential skills it would not be possible for people to complete their jobs properly. Here are a few sets of skills that every good paralegal should possess:
- Maintenance skills: Paralegal services include knowing how to organize documents and catalogs and maintain them for future use. This will ease the paralegal’s workload.
- Eye to detail: Paralegal’s job includes tons of paperwork on a daily basis. Therefore having an eye for details will help them probe through heaps of documents.
- Systematic skills: This skill helps the paralegal analyze the documents and collect every piece of the required information.
- Communication skills: Paralegals deal with evaluation and interviewing any customer or potential customer. It is important that they have good communication skills.
- Tech skills: Paralegals deal with tech-savvy tools in their day-to-day jobs. Having knowledge about it will definitely help.
- Research skills: The primary job of paralegals is to assist lawyers in their cases. They help research and check the facts of the case.
No matter what job you have, there are always steps to be completed and educational qualifications to be achieved. Let’s look at the steps that you’ll have to overcome to provide paralegal services:
- Complete senior secondary education: The ultimate step is to complete your 10 + 2 education, i.e. your senior secondary education. Candidates can complete their 10+2 from any school or any stream.
- Earn a degree: After completion of 10+2 education, the next step is to pursue a diploma in paralegal practice. The duration of this diploma course is 1 year.
- Get a bachelor’s degree: Candidates can advance their careers by aspiring to a bachelor’s degree like BA/LLB or BBA/LLB. It is a five-year duration course.
- Get your master’s degree: To make their careers more advanced and resume look more appealing aspiring paralegals should pursue a master’s degree in law studies or an MPS in paralegal studies.
- Internships: Join internships or take up entry-level jobs. This is a way to develop your skills and gain experience in the sector.
- Build your CV: When one enters the real world after completing studies, there will be a catfight between all candidates and the winner will always have a good resume. A resume highlights skills, knowledge, and work experience. It will help to get jobs as paralegals.
- Apply for jobs: After completing studies and gaining enough experience that can make one’s resume stand out. Now be ready to get in the field. So, the last step is to apply for ideal jobs.
Being a paralegal can be rewarding if the career choices are smart enough. The advantages of working as a paralegal are:
- Less complexity in getting jobs: Since law students or aspiring lawyers mostly start their careers are paralegals, It requires a minimum education qualification with just a few months of training.
- Decent salary: A paralegal can start working in profitable firms with only one or two years of education and further advance their careers if they wish to be paid more than their counterparts.
- Persistence learning: As a paralegal, one will be assisting in lawyer’s cases and therefore learn a lot of facts and gain knowledge throughout the course of your job. One will have a good grasp of paralegal services as well as learn about court cases.
- Variety: Paralegals can easily get jobs in different fields of law as per their expertise.
- Unfortified practice: Since paralegals learn a lot while offering paralegal services, they are able to grasp the knowledge of various court proceedings and cases. Therefore, they sometimes advise clients in their cases. While they are fully equipped to answer clients’ questions, legally it’s the attorney’s job. Their job is to inform lawyers about the same.
- Maintaining secrecy: A paralegal is the lone wolf handling attorney’s all work and assisting them. Other than the attorney and the client, they know everything about the client and their case. If by any chance, they share any confidential information, it violates civil privileges. This could lead to a tarnished reputation for a paralegal.
- Supervising attorney: All paralegal services are supervised by attorneys. If it is not under attorney supervision, it will not be included in paralegal services.
- Conflict of interest: Paralegals are responsible for settling any conflict of interest in the firm. therefore, if they find any such problem arising, it is their duty to inform the attorney and resolve it.
hacks for paralegals
A good paralegal does everything in such a manner that it leaves a mark. Here are some tips that will help you achieve heights in a career as a paralegal.
- Keep detailed notes of everything, do not rely on memory
- Specialize in the area of law
- Know the technology/ be tech-savvy
- Always keep your resume polished and ready
- Never make any assumptions
- Try and be always on time
- Maintain an understanding between self and the attorney
- Get to know the court and staff services
- Understand what is expected from paralegals
- Get to know the team
- Be flexible
- Be easy on oneself
We know paralegal services are hectic and there’s a load of work all day. Although it may seem easy and simple on the inside, we are always expected to give our best and not mess up. Even after trials, when everyone is tired and frustrated, a good paralegal is still working. As facile as it looks, it is way more complicated and exhausting. A paralegal is the right hand of the attorney and handles a heavy workload.
Since the lawyer is completely dependent on paralegals, it is important to take a rest and refresh themselves from time to time. Taking breaks and always having an eye for details is the best advice we can offer.