What Are Freelance Paralegals Most Happy About In Their Challenging, Lucrative Careers?

A paralegal is a highly trained legal assistant, who helps lawyers with legal research, case and client management, and trial preparation. While the majority of paralegals work in a law firm, there is a good number of freelance paralegals who contract out their services to law firms, government agencies, advocacies, corporations, and individuals.
Just like salaried paralegals, what are freelance paralegals busy with except the same exact tasks that lawyers do, except of course for the fact that they cannot give legal advice or represent a client in court. In most states, they must also work under the supervision of a lawyer. Paralegals assist lawyers in all stages of a case, from doing extensive legal research, to locating and interviewing witnesses, reviewing depositions, transcripts, and testimonies, looking up case law and statutes, drawing up affidavits, court documents and pleadings, organizing trial records and materials, and even administrative and secretarial tasks such as scheduling meetings, handling correspondence and filing. In addition, they will often accompany the trial lawyer to court to provide indispensable assistance.
All these tasks require that paralegals have effective communication and organizational skills, excellent research and writing proficiency and mastery of legal terminology and procedures. In large organizations, paralegals are often encouraged to specialize in specific areas such as criminal law, corporate and taxation or litigation. Freelance paralegals who do a lot of work in a particular industry also gain specialized knowledge and skills in those areas.
The workload of paralegals can be very heavy and deadlines often very tight, but the work is varied and satisfying and the compensation surprisingly good. Since freelance paralegals have the freedom to choose how much work to take on and when they want to work, it can be argued that they enjoy a better position than salaried paralegals. Deadlines for contracted services still have to be met, but being your own boss significantly lessens the pressure. Perhaps what are freelance paralegals most happy about is the fact that even those freelance paralegals that choose a lighter workload do very well because the demand for experienced paralegal service remains high and consistent.
Becoming a paralegal is an excellent way to enjoy a good salary even without a bachelor's degree. Very few schools actually offer a full bachelor's paralegal degree. An associate's degree is much more common as well as a certificate course for people who already have a bachelor's degree in another field. Paralegal studies typically include courses in legal research, court proceedings, legal and medical terminology, legal communication, document preparation, and an overview of the different branches of law such as corporate law, criminal law, estate law and family law, among others.
A certificate course is skill-focused and intensive and can often be done in a couple of months. Both associate's and bachelor's degrees include standard academic subjects so they take longer. More than 1000 colleges offer paralegal programs although only about 300 of these are accredited by the American Bar Association. In addition, a paralegal license can also be obtained from the American Paralegal Association, although it is not a requirement to become a practicing paralegal. The investment in time in money in an accredited degree course and a license might well be worth it though since they improve employability for those planning a career in a firm or as a freelance paralegal.
Paralegal careers remain in high demand with employers from the legal industry, government agencies, businesses, and consumer organizations employing over 220,000 jobs in 2004. A very low 2.4% unemployment rate for paralegals was reported in 2008 and the demand is projected to increase much faster than for other occupations. With such glowing employment prospects, a freelance paralegal career is a good option for anybody who is interested in the law and its proceedings that enjoy legal research and that will not be put off by the challenges of the profession.
Get free in-depth information on paralegal duties and paralegal salary ranges from: http://www.paralegalsalarydata.com.

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