BANKRUPTCY PARALEGAL DUTIES
You’ll still support lawyers, but you’ll specialize in bankruptcy law.
Paralegals have a wide range of responsibilities, but you can narrow down your role by choosing a paralegal specialization, such as bankruptcy.
As a bankruptcy paralegal, you’ll support lawyers and their clients through bankruptcy proceedings. If you’re very organized and detail-oriented, this could be the career path for you.
Bankruptcy Paralegal Duties
A paralegal in a bankruptcy case can complete work at almost every step of the bankruptcy process. Bankruptcy cases generally involve a high volume of standard forms that need to be processed in the courts quickly, so organizational skills are critical.
Paralegals in this specialty can work to help represent creditors or debtors, and they must have broad knowledge of bankruptcy procedures for the state in which they are employed. Recently, bankruptcy paralegals have been used more often because they can be cost-effective for clients and companies employing paralegals.
Some job duties could include:
- Filing and writing proof of claims
- Providing documents that support the claims
- Managing files, or providing updates on the development of the case
- Helping guide debtors through the process that can be stressful and fraught with questions
Bankruptcy Paralegal Degrees
In order to be competitive in this field, an associate’s degree in paralegal studies is helpful and sometimes required. It’s also possible to earn a four-year bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies if you’re interested in getting a more in-depth education.
Another option is an intensive paralegal certificate program, which can be obtained in a shorter amount of time. A certificate can often be obtained without another degree or can complement a bachelor’s degree in a related field.
Be sure to research certification program requirements as some may require a bachelor’s degree.
Salary and Job Outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ current Occupational Employment Statistics, the average national annual salary for paralegals and legal assistants is $55,020.
Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience, and a variety of other factors. National long-term projections of employment growth may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects paralegal job growth at 10% through 2029, which is faster than average for all occupations. Because more law firms are trying to implement cost-saving measures, they are likely to hire more paralegals. But job seekers with paralegal certificates and work experience will have the easiest time landing those jobs.