CORPORATE LAW PARALEGAL CAREERS
Working in and for large corporations has many benefits for paralegals.
The security of working for a firm or corporation can be attractive to paralegals looking to specialize in one area, and corporate law can offer that stability as well as excellent benefits.
That said, you’ll perform many of the same tasks as all paralegals—such as preparing legal documents and updating files—but you’ll also provide services for corporate litigation and internal business processes, which means you’ll likely work with many departments and different types and levels of employees.
Corporate Paralegal Duties
Besides the routine tasks paralegals perform, corporate paralegals address a company’s specific and on-going needs—from employee relations and benefits to protecting shareholder interests. You’ll handle legal work related to the product or service the firm provides by performing the following duties:
- Draft executive summaries
- Attend corporate meetings and write meeting minutes
- Assist with compliance issues
- Create employee contracts and benefits briefs
- Draft shareholder agreements
- Draft documents relating to trademarks, brands, and patents
- Prepare financial reports
- Monitor government regulations and changes
Paralegals working in corporate law must be team players and should have good interpersonal skills. Additionally, corporate paralegals should stay abreast of basic developments or changes in the area of corporate law. They should also make sure they’re adept in computer and technology skills required by the firm.
Corporate Paralegal Education
There are several ways to become a corporate paralegal, but you’ll need to earn a two-year associate’s degree in paralegal studies to get your foot in the door. Because of the global scope of big corporate business, knowing another language may also be beneficial.
If you’ve got your mind set on a large multi-national firm or one of the country’s Fortune 500 corporations, a four-year bachelor’s in paralegal studies may give you an edge in this highly competitive market.
If you’ve earned your bachelor’s degree in another area, there are intensive paralegal certificate programs available that may allow you to enter the field more quickly. If you need to continue working while in school, online certificate programs can help provide flexibility so you can study on your own schedule.
Job Outlook and Salary
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, although 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 10% job growth for paralegals through 2029, which is faster than average for all occupations. This may partly be due to the fact that many corporations hire paralegals to do work formerly done by lawyers as a way to cut legal costs. Job openings are also projected to increase because many people in the field, especially those who have chosen to become a paralegal as a second career, will be leaving the profession due to retirement and other factors.