The majority of paralegal professionals will work in a law firm in support of an attorney. However, if you want to become a consumer paralegal, you can offer your services directly to clients or you can be hired by different types of businesses. Unlike other types of paralegals, consumer paralegals have no specific legal designation, which is why many people are unsure of what these paralegals do.
If you’re interested in working as a consumer paralegal, it can be a good idea to examine some of the responsibilities of the profession and what requirements you must meet to enter this unique and exciting career.
Services Direct to Consumers
Many consumer paralegals will work as freelance business owners, which allows them to be hired directly by clients. Consumer paralegals can offer several different services, although most of them will relate to complaints that a consumer has with a business.
For example, a consumer paralegal can help their client write a complaint letter to a company or their landlord and can help to resolve the issue. When you work as a consumer paralegal, you can also help your clients get in touch with the consumer protection agency or help them rebuild their credit report after years of poor credit.
Other Employment Opportunities for a Consumer Paralegal
If you’re interested in a career as a consumer paralegal but don’t want to establish a freelance business, there are several opportunities for those entering this profession.
For consumer paralegals who want to protect the public from scams and unscrupulous businesses, there is the possibility of joining a consumer protection agency at the state or federal level. The Bureau of Consumer Protection often hires paralegals to provide legal assistance to consumers that have filed complaints.
Some consumer paralegals will choose to join banks or other large businesses and will work to address consumer complaints. If you work for a bank or corporation as a consumer paralegal, you will usually be supervised by an attorney and will need to understand several important consumer protection laws.
Career and Salary Expectations
Earning a paralegal degree or certificate will be your first step in becoming a consumer paralegal. In addition to the standard legal areas that these programs cover, you should prioritize courses that focus on consumer protection laws and bankruptcy. Also, if you should choose to pursue a degree, you must make sure it is accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA).
Salaries for paralegals can vary depending on your paralegal field, the state that you live in and how much work experience you have. As recorded by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average salary for a paralegal across the country is $48,810 dollars, and the profession is expected to grow by 8% between 2014 and 2024.
Become a Consumer Paralegal
If you’re someone who has good interpersonal skills and enjoys standing up for the rights of other people, then becoming a consumer paralegal can be a truly rewarding career choice. Whether you choose to work independently or for a business, you’ll be making sure that the rights of a consumer are always represented and will improve relationships between businesses and their customers.