Learn About Paralegal Careers and Job Duties
Career paralegals' job outlook and practice areas.
2010 NALA Survey Results
While some paralegals find jobs without formal education, most people know that getting a paralegal degree or a paralegal certificate greatly enhances their chances of finding a job. Others find that getting a higher-level paralegal degree increases their chances of promotion.
The National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) found that a majority of member paralegals had either an associate's degree (31 percent), or a bachelor's degree and a paralegal certificate (48 percent).
Where Paralegals Work
According to the 2010 NALA survey, private law firms employed 61 percent of career paralegals, corporations employed 18 percent, and the public sector and government employed 10 percent.
Paralegal Specialty Areas
Paralegals may have a legal specialty because they are passionate about that area of law or because it was the focus of their first paralegal job. The following table shows the percentage of paralegals working in each specialty area. (The total adds up to more than 100 percent because paralegals often work in more than one specialty.)
Mergers & Acquisitions:
Career Paralegal Job Duties
There are three typical tasks that career paralegals perform under appropriate lawyer supervision: factual investigation, legal research and the preparation of legal documents.
To give you greater insight into the types of work most common in a paralegal career, the NALA survey lists the most popular paralegal duties by rank. Here are the top 10:
|Top Ten Paralegal Job Duties|
|1. Case management||6. Assist with client contact|
|2. Drafting correspondence||7. Document analysis & summary|
|3. Calendaring deadlines||8. Fact checking/research|
|4. Automation systems/computerized support||9. General office responsibilities|
|5. Draft pleadings, document responses/discovery||10. Court filings|
- Job Description
- Career Options
- Career Statistics
- Paralegal Specialties
- Finding Paralegal Jobs
- Entry-Level Jobs
- Paralegals vs. Legal Assistants
- Salary by State
- Paralegal USA