The key to many successful law firms is their dedicated team of dedicated, knowledgeable paralegals, and this is especially true for law firms whose attorneys specialize in litigation. When there is no choice but taking a case to court, litigation paralegals can provide the support attorneys need to successfully try their case and fulfill their client’s needs.
Although a wide range of paralegals can assist attorneys with trials, litigation paralegals specialize in the practice, which means they must acquire comprehensive information about how legal proceedings work and how best to aid their supervising lawyer. Anyone interested in working as a litigation paralegals needs to learn the specifics of the profession and the beginning steps to a paralegal career.
Paralegals that Specialize in Litigation
In helping attorneys prepare for a trial, litigation paralegals must perform important tasks. Primarily, a litigation paralegal will perform extensive legal research that an attorney needs for a trial. This can include examining court transcripts, related cases and any other information that is relevant. However, research is not the only responsibility of a litigation paralegal.
Paralegals that specialize in litigation can write legal briefs and file them with the court, can interview clients in order to record statements and can construct schedules so that the attorney they work for can meet legal deadlines. Essentially, whatever support an attorney needs for a successful court case, a litigation paralegal will provide it.
Achieving a Paralegal Education
Experience and education is a crucial portion of becoming a litigation paralegal. While it is possible to be hired as a paralegal without these qualifications, lacking them can severely limit your employment opportunities.
For a paralegal education, you should enroll in an associate’s or baccalaureate paralegal studies degree program that has been approved by the American Bar Association (ABA). If you want to be a litigation paralegal, you should make portion of your coursework is focused on court proceedings.
Another way that you can improve your employment prospects is to gain work experience before applying for paralegal positions. Typically, work experience will be gained during your degree in an internship. However, it is also possible to gain experience as a paralegal by volunteering with a law firm or performing pro bono work.
Learning About Paralegal Salaries
Like all other paralegal fields, the salary for a litigation paralegal will rest on a variety of factors, most importantly where you work and the experience you possess in your field. Basic career information, however, can be found with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) profile for paralegals.
The average yearly salary for a paralegal as reported in the 2015 BLS report is $48,810. The BLS also provides information about growth in the paralegal field. In the 2015 report, growth for paralegals jobs between 2014 and 2024 was expected to be 8%. This translates as an employment change of 20,100 over this same ten-year period, speaking to the health of the paralegal profession.
Become a Litigation Paralegal
For those interested in a legal profession that is centered on the court room, the perfect career is working as a litigation paralegal—a legal profession that is dedicated to helping law firms and attorneys to successfully handle trials.