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Litigation Paralegal Career Guide

You’ll learn everything about preparing for trial as a litigation paralegal.

litigation paralegal meeting with client

Litigation paralegals see the inner workings of a trial from beginning to end. Winning your first trial is always one of the most memorable moments in a paralegal’s career.

From requests for documents and other trial “discovery” to more complex duties such as research and writing legal briefs, litigation paralegals are involved in all phases of the process making them an important part of any legal team.

What You’ll Do as a Litigation Paralegal

While paralegals are forbidden from performing tasks that are considered practicing law, such as administering advice or setting fees, they can complete a variety of tasks under the supervision of lawyers, and the scope of their work is growing.

Under supervision of a lawyer, a litigation paralegal may do the following:

  • Gather facts and investigate for a case
  • Summarize depositions
  • Conduct legal research
  • Search files for legal research on similar cases
  • Locate and interview witnesses
  • Manage documents
  • Help with many other aspects of trial preparation

Good research skills are imperative, as is a thorough understanding of the litigation process. Additionally, because they may be preparing so many documents and writing various summaries, good writing and analytical skills are very important for the litigation paralegal.

Litigation Paralegal Degree and Certificate Programs

There are a few different ways to learn the skills you need to be a litigation paralegal.

Associate’s degrees usually take two years to complete and offer legal courses and paralegal training along with some liberal arts courses.

A bachelor’s degree is typically a four-year program which combines liberal arts coursework with paralegal studies.

certificate program takes a few months to complete, but it’s more intensive. It can be earned after completing a bachelor’s or associate’s degree in a related field, although a prior degree is not always necessary.

Online Paralegal Courses

If you need flexibility, online paralegal certificate programs are increasing and can help you gain the necessary education.

Salary and Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics, the median national annual salary for paralegals and legal assistants is $59,200.

Employment is expected to grow 4.2% through 2032, which is much faster than average for all occupations. Because litigation paralegals carry a lot of responsibility, job seekers with the right education and experience tend to have the best chances of being hired.

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.