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Paralegals and Legal Assistants

Almost Every Industry has a Place for Paralegal!

Almost Every Industry has a Place for Paralegal  Paralegals, also referred to as legal assistants, assist lawyers by researching legal precedent, investigating facts, or preparing legal documents. Paralegals are assuming a growing number of duties across the nation. Teir duties vary greatly with the type of organization in which they are employed. Remember that law firms are not the only agencies that hire paralegals.  Many large corporations and government offices also benefit from having paralegals on staff. Future job prospects are very good compared to other jobs, but those who are interested should expect strong competition due to a growing interest in the field. Paralegals, or legal assistants, assist lawyers by researching legal precedent, investigating facts, or preparing legal documents. Paralegals are assuming a growing number of duties across the nation. Their responsibilities vary with the type and size of the firm in which they are employed. Remember that law firms are not the only organizations that hire paralegals.  Many large corporations and government agencies also benefit from having paralegals on staff to perform due diligence and translate documents for those without a legal background. 

Paralegals, depending on where they work, will specialize in areas like: 

  • Litigation
  • Estate Planning and Probate
  • Corporate Law
  • Employment Law/Labor Law
  • Real Estate
  • Government

Future job prospects are very good compared to other jobs, but those who are interested should expect strong competition due to a growing interest in the field.


The number of paralegals is expected to increase by 27 percent from 2014 to 2024 with a need for almost 300 new paralegals each year throughout region!

Number of paralegals expected to increase by 27.4% from 2014 to 2024 with a need for almost 300 new paralegals each year throughout region!


Although entry-level wages for Paralegals start off below the median for all occupations, more than half of all workers in this profession earn over $57,000 a year!

Paralegals stably earn CONSIDERABLY more than the average job in the Gulf Coast Region.


Law firms are a great job source for paralegals, but opportunities don't end there. Roughly one in four job openings can be found in other industries!

Paralegals Employment by Industry


Considering this Career? Having these skills will give you an edge!

These skills, interests, and knowledge areas are recommended for a career as a paralegal. The numbers below describe the relative importance of each knowledge/skill area to the occupation.

        92.6%

Language

Knowledge of the structure, content, composition, grammar, spelling, pronunciation, and intonation of the common language

       90%

Law & Government

Knowing or knowing where to find the information about legal guidelines, procedures, precedents, and other legal information

       85%

Oral & Written Comprehension

The ability to understand, and convey information spoken between individuals or written in long paragraphs.

*Source: Texas Career Check


How do you become a paralegal or legal assistant?

High School Endorsement: Public Service

A good grade point average is one thing that is taken into consideration when hiring someone in the competitive paralegal field. High school students should strive for a high GPA. It will give them the edge when it comes to successfully completing a paralegal program and entering the job market.

The most common entry into a career as a paralegal is through a community college program by obtaining an associate's degree. It is very beneficial to attend training that offers an internship that provides experience working in the legal environment. 

Although most employers do not require certification, earning a certificate offers an advantage when competing for jobs. Many individuals that already have a college degree, or experience in a technical field useful to law firms, can complete a certification program. Information on paralegal certification can be obtained from the following:


Helpful Tech to Know

  • Document Management Software: Adobe Acrobat, PDF Snake Easy Bates, or Summation Blaze
  • Information Retrieval or Search Software: LexisNexis, Thomson West FindLaw, or Westlaw Real Property Deed Images
  • Microsoft Office Suite: Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, or Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Data Base Query Software: Bridgeway eCounsel, LexisNexis CodeMaster, or Microsoft Access

Paralegal and Legal Assistant Programs in the Gulf Coast Region

Community Colleges

Universities

Major Employers in the Gulf Coast Region

*Includes the following counties: Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Colorado, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Walker, Waller, and Wharton.

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