Three Essential Paralegal Job Skills

When becoming a  paralegal, an individual will learn a lot about the legal system and witness first hand a lot of the behind the scenes work that is involved to bring cases to the courtroom. 

Paralegal Job Skills

While television and movies are able to dramatize the legal process, there is much more than meets the eye. There is a tremendous amount of work involved prior to even scheduling the first court appearance and paralegals are right in the thick of things throughout the entire process.
There are three very important paralegal job skills that are necessary to be successful in your career. Mastering these core competencies can help you advance in the workplace and gain a competitive edge in today’s legal market. 
Research Skills

One of the most important paralegal job skills to have are excellent research skills. A paralegal spends a lot of time doing legal research, both online and in law libraries. It is imperative that a paralegal must be able to perform accurate and effective research. Along with researching, a paralegal must be able to analyze and properly cite resources.Solid investigative skills in civil, criminal and transactional contexts are also necessary for tracking down medical records, evidence, documents, and witnesses.
Communication Skills

Great communication skills are a must for successful paralegals. Paralegals will act as a liaison between the attorney, clients, vendors, secretaries, judges, and other parties involved in the judicial process. A paralegal must learn to communicate effectively with people from all backgrounds and walks of life. In addition, a paralegal must follow strict rules that govern their communication with clients because paralegals are not permitted to give legal advice under any circumstances.
Writing Skills

A paralegal job will include a lot of legal writing. Paralegals may be responsible for drafting contracts, agreements, wills, trusts, and other types of legal documents. He or she must be able to write clearly and effectively. A paralegal must be comfortable understanding and drafting legal documents.
While these are three essential paralegal job skills, there are plenty more skills that will help any paralegal excel. Additional skills include critical thinking abilities, discretion, organization, and other skills that may be inherent or learned. Many paralegal training programs will give you a good foundation on which to build your skills. Also, it may be comforting to know that the legal field is not a new type of industry, so there is no need to re-invent the wheel and learning to do your paralegal job duties right the first time and keeping your skills sharp will keep you competitive.

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