An Inspiring and Competitive Job Outlook for Legal Assistants

Those who want a career in the field of law without getting a law degree will be satisfied to know that the Job outlook for legal assistants is strong and growing. However, it is a competitive field, with the best jobs going to the best and brightest legal assistants on the market. If you are a legal assistant looking to enter the workforce, make sure your training is recent and relevant, and your experience sets you apart from the others. You will also want to demonstrate an enthusiasm for the field, a willingness to learn, and a solid work ethic with excellent attention to detail.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 263,800 people employed as paralegals in the United States in 2008, and the number of positions is expected to grow to 337,900 by 2018. This is faster than average growth for any career field. However, the Bureau also found that more people are planning to pursue this field. Therefore, the most qualified and well-trained paralegals will have the best opportunities.

One of the best ways to take advantage of job opportunities is to learn a specialty. Legal assistants can focus on certain specialty areas such as criminal law, real estate law, and family law, just as attorneys often specialize in particular areas of practice. The greatest demand for this career field will be found in areas including bankruptcy, product liability, real estate, and medical malpractice. Demonstrating a background in those areas will make you more appealing to law firms and companies looking to hire extra legal help.

In order to increase their ability to serve more people with smaller budgets, nonprofit organizations and community legal clinics can also be expected to hire paralegals faster than they hire full-time attorneys. In addition to law firms, corporations, and community groups, there are job openings at the Federal, State, and local courts, as well as government agencies.

Working as a legal assistant will give you a great base of experience, and there are always opportunities for career growth. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the field to grow by 28 percent in the next 10 years, mostly due to a growing demand for excellent talent. Some legal assistants use their role as a stepping stone to further their legal or law enforcement careers. After spending a few years in the field, it is possible to go to law school and become an attorney, or move forward into industries including healthcare, insurance, property management, and business.

Paralegals are beginning to assume more responsibilities that are similar to what lawyers do for their clients. The Job outlook for legal assistants is especially good if you have a minimum of an associate's degree in a field that trains you to have excellent communication and research skills. Having a certificate in paralegal studies will also help make you a competitive job candidate. The most important part of your job description will be helping to prepare attorneys for court and clients. That need on the part of lawyers will never change, which contributes to the growth expected in this field.

If you're interested in a career as a paralegal, you'll want to find out specifics before you start your education. Find out exactly what the average paralegal salary is from

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