Paralegals Not Affected by Recession?
The most recently reported unemployment rate in the U.S. is over 9 percent. Due to the recession and subsequent recovery period, jobs are harder to find, more competitive and wages are lower than in previous years. For many, the inability to secure full-time employment has given them a chance to return to school in pursuit of more education, a career change or just to have a current knowledge base for their chosen career path. Most of these individuals are choosing online colleges to secure their education, because of its flexibility and popular course offerings, as well as the lure of securing a degree or other certification in less time than with an offline degree or certification program.
According to Newsweek, one of the best online courses to pursue is a paralegal certificate. Since lawyers are also feeling the pinch of the recession, they are hiring more paralegals than lawyers in their firms, cutting their costs while retaining their current ability to provide legal services and representation to clients. Paralegal students are not required to participate in “in-house” instruction like other students, since the majority of the work does not require hands-on demonstration of learned skills. A paralegal certificate may be earned strictly through studying and participating in online forum discussions.
A paralegal’s job consists of investigating facts and performing research, interviewing clients or witnesses, draft legal documents such as briefs, subpoenas, depositions and motions for discovery, keeping, organizing and maintaining files and exhibits , filing documents with federal and state courts and assistance during hearings, arbitrations, mediations, meetings, closings and trials. The tools needed to fulfill these job requirements can all be learned through an online paralegal program, making it easy for the student to fulfill the education requirements and transition easily into a career that is
Becoming certified as a paralegal is just the first step, there is also a certification examination to pass and it always helps to have additional college experience, such as a two- or four-year degree. The process of receiving the paralegal certificate online actually benefits the skills needed by a paralegal. Online schools are notorious for their ability to enhance education through communication, technology and writing, skills needed in a courtroom or law office to best serve legal clients. Research is a large part of a paralegal’s job, from researching laws to researching where a file has been stored, and online schools help students learn how and where to research, especially in the legal field. Paralegals must also be organized, have good attention to detail, be adept at multi-tasking and teamwork, all of which are fostered through the online education process.
Paralegals are able to perform many job functions within the legal system, under the supervision of a lawyer or attorney. This career field has experienced growth, and is expected to continue, and a degree that may be obtained online is one of the best ways to quickly begin a career in the paralegal field. Many of the skills learned during the process of obtaining a paralegal certificate online are easily transferred to a legal firm, as well as the actual education. As a career choice, paralegals have an advantage due to the ease of being certified online, giving them a faster path into a job than many other students. Pursuing an online paralegal certificate can help create job security now and in the future.