How to Boost Your Credibility as a Paralegal

Successful paralegals possess many different skills and have unique qualities that allow them to perform the multiple duties required on the job. For example, the necessary skills of the paralegals' job include quick decision making, being intuitive, and having the ability to focus. Professional credibility is another important virtue a successful paralegal should possess. Credibility really means believability and is subjective by nature. Credibility is based on how believable a person thinks you are by how they perceive you. People form that opinion based on things like perceived expertise, credentials or certifications, and how much they feel you are trustworthy. How can a paralegal boost their credibility and in turn enhance their career?

There are many ways a paralegal can boost their credibility with employers and clients alike. Credible people are described as reliable. A reliable paralegal will complete tasks by the required deadlines and show up on time and fully prepared for meetings, court or client intakes. Good paralegals are expected to be able to complete a project successfully with little direction or micro managing, by doing so successfully proves reliability. A paralegal that is reliable in all aspects of the job will be viewed as more credible to their employers. One way to improve reliability is to practice good time management and keep a workable schedule to avoid being late or missing appointments.

 Expertise plays a very important part in how credible others think you are. Paralegals can gain expertise in a variety ways, such as ongoing education, whether through a school, paralegal association or classes held by an employer. Certifications and college degrees will provide the credentials and proof of expertise to others, improving the credibility of the paralegal in others eyes. A paralegal can also gain expertise by being fully knowledgeable about available resources and cultivating a network of useful expert contacts.

 A paralegal that has good leadership skills is also viewed as being credible by others. Leadership skills can include activities such as active problem solving in a case and providing team support and motivation. There are many ways to improve leadership skills. A course in public speaking can give the paralegal the ability to speak confidently and with authority to others. Courses on interpersonal skills will help the paralegal successfully work well with others in a team setting.

 For many people, credibility is synonymous with honesty. If a client or employer has had incidents where a paralegal has been dishonest, all credibility for that paralegal can be quickly wiped away. A paralegal should always be honest with her attorney, even if it means telling them something they don't want to hear. An attorney depends on your honesty in order to advocate properly for his clients. A paralegal should be honest with clients as well by providing truthful information about their case, even if it is bad news.

 Whether you are just starting out in your career or have many years experience, improving your credibility will add to your quality as a paralegal and enhance your career.

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