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Paralegal and Legal Assistant Careers

As the economic recovery in the U.S. continues to slowly gain momentum, solid and stable career choices are becoming a concern for those graduating from high school and looking toward the future. With the experience of a recession fresh in the minds of those focusing on education and career choices, many fields in criminal justice have become paths to a bright future. Among those choices, paralegal and legal assistant careers are proving to be some of the most stable choices within criminal justice.

A paralegal or legal assistant provides services to attorneys, including fact checking and research, the drafting of documents, briefs, motions, depositions or other important legal papers. These professionals can interview clients or provide support to an attorney’s office through filing documents or offering assistance during legal proceedings such as trials, hearings, mediations or arbitrations.  More attorneys and law firms are looking to paralegals and legal assistants to fill the gaps in service that were typically filled by new attorneys, but at a lower rate of pay. While legal assistants and paralegals cannot perform all of the functions of a lawyer, these professionals are an invaluable part of the legal system and can compensate for much of the work a full-fledged attorney typically performs.



Each state has specific regulations for paralegals and legal assistants, including a certification process. Through a local or online criminal justice school or legal assistant certification program, a paralegal student can be assured of understanding the skills and academics required to work within the criminal justice and legal fields. Additionally, paralegals or legal assistants are encouraged to pursue a Bachelor’s or Associate’s degree to ensure potential employers of the required level of education needed to work within the legal field.

Becoming a paralegal or legal assistant requires dedication, organization, and a talent for navigating the legal system. As more new high school graduates begin to look toward the future, the paralegal and legal assistant fields promise a stable and rewarding career that not only challenges, but makes a difference in the lives of people across the country.

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