Is a Career as a Paralegal Right For You?

With so many different online degree programs available to students, narrowing it down to just one path can be a bit intimidating.

Embarking on paralegal studies online has proven to be an extremely popular choice among students, and for good reasons. The paralegal degree programs are able to prepare students for a number of great career opportunities that are challenging and rewarding.

So how can you tell if a paralegal degree is right for you? Here’s a closer look.

Are You Willing to Put in the Work?

Becoming a paralegal requires a fair amount of training and education. Understanding this up-front is important as you don’t want to start the program only to find it’s too intense for you. There will be plenty of reading, case studies to examine, and critical thinking involved. If these are the types of things that interest you and that you excel in, then there’s a good chance the level of work won’t intimidate you.

Busy Hours Ahead

If the idea of long work weeks and busy days appeals to you, again this is likely a good match for you. Paralegals who work for busy law firms are obviously even busier. It may not be the traditional Monday through Friday 9-5 work week, either. For those with a busy social and personal life, this may be more of a commitment than they are willing to take on. If that’s the case, working for a smaller firm can be the answer.

Who Do You Want to Work For?

As a paralegal, you’ll have options when it comes to who you want to work for. Each employer offers a different kind of work environment, allowing you to pick one that matches your style and personality. You can work for a non-profit organization, the government, a firm, or even a large corporation. It also allows for changes in the future if you don’t enjoy the environment you’re currently in.

Heavy on Research

A big part of your job will be research. For some people, research can be dry and boring, but for others it can be engaging and almost a challenge. Much of your day can be spent doing research and then drafting up legal documents based on the research. Trial preparation is another huge aspect of the job.

Detail Oriented

In order to be successful in your career as a paralegal you need to be the type who is meticulous, well-organized, and detail oriented. You need to be able to spot all of the small things that most people tend to overlook. This is especially important as you do the legal research.

Is It Your Calling?

There are all kinds of skills and strengths required of paralegals, and understanding what they are before you even enroll in a program can help ensure you take the right path for you. However, this is a career that can be extremely rewarding and offer unique challenges that push you and inspire you to be the best you can be in the job.

Photo by Ed Bierman


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