Some paralegals mistakenly believe that the only way they can advance in their careers is to become an attorney. Becoming an attorney is not always the next rung on the career ladder for every paralegal. Although, both professions share some similarities the skill set that is needed to be a successful paralegal is not the same set of skills that is needed in order to be a successful attorney. Most practice areas require attorneys to attend court hearings and/or trials and the use of great oratory skills, presentation skills, as well as other characteristics that allow them to persuade others is a must for them to be effective. A paralegal may be excellent at drafting motions, pleadings, and other legal documents, but may not have the best oral communication skills. Being an excellent communicator does not mean that a person can communicate equally well in writing and orally.
In some circumstances a paralegal may be a better fit for another career within the legal industry. With the changing legal landscape a paralegal that is looking to grow within the legal field may choose to work in another career in the legal industry and if pay is a motivating factor can earn just as much as some attorneys make.
Following are just a few examples of careers that a paralegal can easily transition into and the expected salary range for each one:
Becoming a legal administrator is a great option for paralegals who are self starters, motivated, and possess the ability to lead teams. A legal administrator handles a variety of functions for law firms including financial management, human resources, marketing, as well as other aspects of a law firm's operations.
According to the Association of Legal Administrators a legal administrator should have the following skills and abilities:
Transitioning into the eDiscovery career from a paralegal career can be an easy transition for paralegals that are technologically savvy. The technology explosion necessitates the use of specialized professionals that understand technology as well as legal processes and procedures. In this episode of The ESI Report, Michele Lange interviews Joe Edlund and Matt Samet, two e-discovery case managers from Kroll Ontrack about the role of the eDiscovery Case Manager. Learn more about the eDiscovery Case Manager career.
Paralegal Rainmakers Plus Plan
Become a Paralegal Rainmaker member and join a growing community of paralegals across the globe. When you sign up you can access career resources including complimentary registration to The Paralegal MasterClass, which includes sessions from paralegals and other legal professionals across the globe, newsletters, an on-line social forum to discuss topics of interests specific to the nuances of working as a paralegal. Learn more
Enjoy these additional benefits when you join:
You can cancel your membership at any time and will not be charged for the next billing cycle.
*Law Office Simulations included in the Paralegal Crash Courses must be purchased separately.
Are you a Paralegal in California?
Every two years, commencing January 1, 2007, any person that is working as a paralegal shall be required to certify completion of four hours of mandatory continuing legal education in legal ethics and four hours of mandatory continuing legal education in either general law or in an area of specialized law. When you sign up for a membership plan you can earn up to 30 pre-approved CLE credits every year. Learn More
$29.00 - $349.00
Network and Educate Your Way to Success!
Paralegal professionals as well as aspiring paralegals can learn about emerging trends within the paralegal profession in addition to staying abreast of technology usage in the legal industry by signing up for a Paralegal Connection subscription plan.
All subscription plans include access to the following benefits:
Legal Research Crash Course
$129.00 - $229.00
In legal organizations legal research is an integral part of the legal process. The purpose of this live on-line session is to transform legal research from being performed as a creative artistic expression into a scientific method that can be consistently applied and measured for maximum paralegal efficiency.
This session will cover the following topics:
This course offers a certificate when all tasks within the simulated law office are successfully completed.
Want to earn the Paralegal Blue Belt: Legal Research Certificate? In addition to access to the on-line course lessons registration includes access to an on-line experiential learning environment that provides access to course materials, on-demand sessions that are immediately available, and other student materials to help reinforce the concepts covered within this amazing course.
Discover how to improve your legal research and writing skills in the Legal Writing Crash Course. Learn more