Are you thinking about following your dreams of pursuing a paralegal career path? Although there are several ways a person can become a paralegal, did you know that a common path is to earn an associate degree in paralegal studies? Most paralegals and legal assistants have an associate degree in paralegal studies or a bachelor’s degree in another field with a certificate in paralegal studies1.
We have outlined a few reasons why pursuing an associate paralegal studies degree could be a key element to achieving your professional goals! Keep reading to see if starting a career in the legal field is something that would interest you.
What Can I Do With a Paralegal Associate’s Degree?
Are you wondering what you could do with an associate degree in paralegal studies? Paralegals and legal assistants perform a variety of tasks to support lawyers including maintaining and organizing files, conducting legal research, and drafting documents2. Completing a paralegal education program could help you learn how to complete these tasks and other duties of a paralegal.
- Paralegals and legal assistants typically do the following:
- Conduct research on relevant laws, regulations, and legal articles
- Organize and maintain documents in paper or electronic filing systems
- Gather and arrange evidence and other legal documents for attorney review and case preparation
- Help lawyers during trials by handling exhibits, taking notes, or reviewing trial transcripts
- And more!2
As you can see, there are so many things you can do with an associate’s degree in paralegal studies. Helping lawyers prepare for hearings, trials, and corporate meetings is an integral part of this career. Your specific duties and responsibilities will vary depending on the area of law you work in, but you could expect to be handling most of these tasks!
Basic Paralegal Skills You Could Learn While Pursuing an Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies
In the paralegal profession, you must hold certain qualities and skills in order to be successful in this career path. Enrolling in an associate degree in paralegal studies program could help you master the skills needed. There are 5 basic paralegal skills you could learn while studying to become a paralegal1:
- Communication skills: Paralegals have to be able to document and present research that they have conducted to their supervising attorney
- Computer skills: Paralegals need to be familiar with using computers for legal research, litigation support, and organizing/maintaining documents
- Interpersonal skills: Paralegals spend a lot of their time working with clients and must be able to develop good relationships
- Organizational skills: Paralegals may be responsible for many cases at one time, and they must be able to keep things orderly and adapt quickly to changing deadlines, etc.
- Research skills: Paralegals gather facts of the case and research information to prepare drafts of legal documents for attorneys and to help them prepare for a case
By enrolling in a paralegal program, you could learn these 5 basic paralegal skills in your course studies. Not only could these skills help you be successful in your career, but they are qualities that could help you obtain a job in the legal field!
Paralegal Career Opportunities for YOU!
Successfully completing your associate paralegal studies degree can help lead you to many paralegal career opportunities! According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of paralegals and legal assistants is projected to grow 12 percent from 2020 to 20303. Paralegals are able to work in a number of different places.
The paralegal career path can help you to work in legal services, for the federal government, in local or state government, and even in finance and insurance4. Paralegals and legal assistants often work in teams in a law office. Their team could consist of attorneys and other paralegals who assist in gathering information, collecting and reviewing documents, and can even accompany attorneys to trials.
As law firms try to increase the efficiency of legal services and reduce their costs, they are expected to hire more paralegals and legal assistants3. Because some of the work can be fast-paced, paralegals must be able to work on multiple projects with tight deadlines. There are so many paralegal career opportunities!
So, are you looking for a 2-year Paralegal program to embark on this new career path? If you answered yes, consider pursuing your paralegal studies with Mildred Elley! Our curriculum is designed to help students gain the knowledge they need in the legal field in order to be successful. Our classes are taught by experienced professionals through hands-on experience in the field.
The associate degree in paralegal studies program at Mildred Elley is designed to help prepare you to become a paralegal and pursue a career in legal services and related fields. Our associate paralegal studies degree could help you gain the knowledge and basic paralegal skills you might need on the pathway to begin your journey in the legal field! Get started on building the basics for your future career with the paralegal studies program at Mildred Elley!