Paralegals are a vital part of the legal system, working alongside attorneys to provide support and assist in case research for game warden salary new hampshire. The industry is one of the fastest-growing in today’s society. However, there are also a few downsides that you should be aware of before becoming a paralegal.
What is paralegal?
A paralegal is an individual who has legal knowledge and skills but lacks the formal education required in order to become an attorney or attend law school. Paralegals mostly work with attorneys and have no direct contact with clients or cases themselves; instead, they provide basic research, process documents for discovery (court filings), prepare motions for judges’ signatures, and serve as support throughout court proceedings.
Pros of being a paralegal are:
1. Lawyers need you! As a paralegal, you have a constant stream of clients to service. Many are in contact with lawyers they’ve been provided with by their (or their family’s) attorney. Since lawyers are busy and tend to go without extra help when they’re on-the-go, paralegals provide inexpensive, reliable support for the case.
2. It’s a good choice if your only options are jail or the military. In order to be accepted into the Navy, Army or Air Force, candidates must first meet minimum physical requirements for boot camp training and IQ scores above 80 (Army) and 65 (Navy). Those who don’t qualify are forced to join the military reserves, while those who do meet minimum requirements can apply for duty in any branch. If your IQ is too high, you’re ineligible. However, paralegals are a viable option for those with low IQs and/or physical limitations: they work in law offices and not front-line combat positions.
3. If I study long enough, I can become an attorney! Legal education generally takes six years (four years of law school and two years of legal practice), but many paralegs choose to learn on their own time by reading about cases or talking with lawyers about the cases that most interest them. This is beneficial in two ways: one, the paralegal gains a deeper knowledge of their interests and the law, increasing their chances of passing the bar exam (if they ever chose to take it); and two, they become more marketable to law firms.
4. Law is a good career choice. The average salary for a paralegal is $42,000. However, after practicing law for ten years at a top firm, you can make up to $250,000 annually . After twenty years of practicing law at a top firm, you can make around $500,000 annually.
5. You can always use another skill set, professionally and socially. Paralegals not only have a reliable income, but they are also in demand as event planners, personal assistants, marketing analysts and office managers. Many paralegals choose to do this out of necessity due to their chosen field’s capacity for growth or because they simply want to utilize their additional skills. (For example: one friend of mine is a paralegal who wants to attend law school at the end of her career – she prefers public speaking and writing so she has decided to get involved in education.)
1. Long hours with little pay. Paralegal work schedules vary depending on their job responsibilities and employers. Many paralegals choose to work 50 hours a week, but this is not the norm. Whether you’re working 40 or 60 hours a week, you are committing yourself to 6-10 hour shifts every day and all weekends. If you’re unable to afford lunch, your only choices are fast food or buying cheap take-out; meals are less expensive when bought prepared at home.
2. Low chance of clients retaining their loyalty. Many clients tend to be more demanding and expensive than attorneys usually expect; they’ll want more done with less supervision from the paralegal rather than the opposite, who normally handles everything themselves in addition to being responsible for coordinating with their attorney’s office for progress reports, etc.
3. Isolation from the outside world. Paralegals sit behind desks and are not often seen by anyone other than their bosses and coworkers. It is easy to become socially withdrawn due to the lack of human connection present in this work location.
4. The possibility of ending up on the wrong side of a case. Although a paralegal is not an attorney, they can still be sued if they break the rules or make a mistake while working on a case: both sides have equal opportunity to sue someone else for mistakes made during litigation . You never know who might be upset with your contributions to a case or what awaits you at the end of one (for example, being fired for mishandling sensitive information or being sued for representation).
5. Becoming your own boss is a challenge. Although you can choose to be self-employed, sometimes the experience of working within a large company can help when you eventually want to start your own business. Paralegals receive limited benefits and are not allowed to work on their own hours; it’s unlikely they could work around the needs of their family while taking care of their financial obligations on top of that.