Paralegal Duties  |  Career Opportunities  |  Job Outlook

An Exciting Career in the Legal Profession

You don't have to go to law school to have a career in the legal profession. With the paralegal program, you will gain the knowledge and skills you need as a paralegal. You will work directly with attorneys in the delivery of legal services and in performing other important legal work. The bureau of Labor Statistics projects "rapid employment growth" in the paralegal field. Job opportunities are available in a variety of areas.

 

What Does a Paralegal Do?
Paralegals are employed in law firms, courts, government agencies, public and private agencies, corporations, financial institutions, insurance companies, title companies, and real estate offices.

A Paralegal may also be termed a "Legal Assistant." According to the American Bar Association, a paralegal or legal assistant is a person who is qualified through education, training or work experience to perform substantive legal work that requires knowledge of legal concepts and is customarily, but not exclusively, performed by a lawyer.

Typical tasks which Paralegals, under the supervision of an attorney, may perform:

  • Research factual and legal issues
  • Interview witnesses and clients
  • Prepare pleadings, subpoenas, wills, contracts, and other legal documents
  • Draft and review contracts, deeds, mortgages, leases, and other legal documents
  • Prepare for and attend real estate closings
  • Prepare documents concerning corporations, partnerships, and business enterprises
  • Gather facts and prepare documents and forms for family law practice
  • Gather information in preparation for lawsuits
  • Digest and index information obtained prior to trial
  • Maintain complex dockets and files, both manually and on a computerized basis, for availability to attorneys
  • Prepare for criminal trials and assist attorney in the prosecution or defense of criminal cases
  • Utilize computer literacy skills

Paralegals can perform many of the tasks lawyers perform but cannot

  • Give legal advice
  • Sign legal documents
  • Represent clients in a court of law
  • Set legal fees

If this sounds exciting to you, please take a moment to view a 60-second video of paralegals in action! There's even a more in-depth 8-minute paralegal video for you to learn even more about this exciting program.

Career Opportunities

The paralegal profession is one of the fastest growing careers—locally and nationally. Graduates of the program are employed in a variety of legal environments:

  • Law firms (large and small)
  • Courts
  • Government agencies
  • Public and private agencies
  • Corporate legal offices
  • Financial institutions
  • Insurance companies
  • Title companies
  • Real estate offices
  • Colleges and universities

The challenge of the Paralegal career area is as broad as the law itself. The Sinclair Paralegal Program has been developed to provide training that can meet this challenge.

Job Outlook

The national Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected the following:

Employment of paralegals and legal assistants is projected to grow 18 percent between 2010 and 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. Employers are trying to reduce costs and increase the availability and efficiency of legal services by hiring paralegals to perform tasks once done by lawyers. Paralegals are performing a wider variety of duties, making them more useful to businesses.

For more information, please visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics Web site.