For every profession that a person could enter, there will be different levels of employment that you will be required to work through before reaching the top. Even the longest careers start with an entry level position, including working as a paralegal. Many people who are seeking a long-term paralegal career will start as an entry level paralegal.
While an entry level paralegal may have less responsibility than more advanced positions, they still perform common legal tasks and are an integral part of a successful law firm. Before taking a paralegal position, you should learn what an entry level paralegal does and what types of people enter this profession.
Who Are Entry Level Paralegals?
Typically, an entry level paralegal is someone who has just completed their college degree. This means that entry level paralegals are often much younger than other paralegals, especially since paralegals at the entry level usually possess a two-year degree or four-year degree instead of advanced education.
Many people who seek employment as an entry level paralegal are planning to further their education at some point, but are taking a break from their studies to gain work experience. For example, students who are considering enrolling in law school or a graduate program may work as an entry level paralegal until they are ready to return to school. It can also be beneficial for those considering a legal career who want to make sure this profession is right for them.
Entry Level Paralegal Tasks
Entry level paralegals, despite their inexperience, will perform almost the exact same tasks as a full paralegal. They will be employed in a law firm for the express purpose of assisting attorneys in any way that they require. Tasks that an entry level paralegal will be responsible for can include drafting documents, performing legal research and helping attorneys prepare for trial cases.
The work that you’ll do as an entry level paralegal will largely depend on the law firm that you work for and which legal areas they specialize in. If, for instance, you work for a law firm that focuses on real estate law, you may be required to write closing documents for a home.
The majority of law firms will require that an entry level paralegal possess a two-year degree, at the very least. While your degree doesn’t necessarily have to be in paralegal studies, firms do generally prefer candidates who are considering a legal career, whether as a paralegal or an attorney. You also may be required to have earned a certain GPA during your education and be able to prove it with transcripts.
Because many entry level paralegals will return to school eventually, law firms will often require some sort of time commitment before you will be hired. This will usually be between one and two years. Every firm will have their own requirements for this position, so you should examine the requested qualifications for everywhere you are considering submitting an application.
Become an Entry Level Paralegal
You should become an entry level paralegal if you are considering a law career and are looking to gain legal experience before furthering your education. Working as an entry level paralegal can be a very valuable experience and can lead to a rewarding career.