Paralegals help lawyers prepare for closings, hearings, trials, etc. Paralegals investigate the facts of cases and make sure all information is considered and they also identify other materials (laws, judicial decisions, legal articles, etc.) that are relevant to assigned cases. Paralegals also draft pleadings and motions to be filed with the court, obtain affidavits, prepare legal documents, and assist attorneys during the trials.
Corporate Legal Departments
Paralegals within corporate legal departments assist attorneys with employee benefit plans, employee contracts, shareholder agreements, and stock option plans. They often monitor and review government regulations to keep their corporation in check with new requirements; making sure it operates within the law.
Paralegals within the public sector analyze legal material for internal use, maintain reference files, conduct research for attorneys, and collect and analyze evidence for agency hearings. Community legal-service paralegals are involved in projects to help others who are in need of legal assistance (the poor, the aged, etc.). In this line of work, paralegals will conduct research, file forms, prepare documents, and at some times represent clients at administrative hearings.
Employers include Law Firms, Corporations, Federal, state & local government, Private Practice, Special interest groups, Public policy, Research, Regional planning, City or Town management, Intelligence, Foreign Service, Law Enforcement, Legislative, executive, or Judicial Services, Program Administration through Federal, state and local government,and Universities.
- Develop excellent research, writing, analysis and communication skills. Plan to attend law school and earn a law degree
- Serve in Model United Nations.
- Become involved in student government or participate in cross-cultural groups and organizations
- Write for campus publications focused on national and international affairs.
- Acquire foreign language competency and travel experience for international positions.
- Supplement curriculum with business courses.
- Earn a graduate degree in political science or public administration for advancement.
- Volunteer with the staff of a government official, participate in local or national campaigns.