A paralegal, or legal assistant, perform a variety of tasks that busy attorneys do not have the time to do. Examples of common paralegal duties include:
Paralegals cannot give legal advice, misrepresent themselves as lawyers or act as counsel in a court of law. However, paralegals are not restricted to working for attorneys and often find employment as a corporate paralegal assisting large teams of lawyers handling an organization's legal issues.
- Gathering information relevant to cases
- Identification of precedents to be used by lawyers
- Reading and summarizing laws relating to a case
- Preparing documentation for trials, depositions, hearings, etc.
- Preparing reference materials to which attorneys refer when in court
- Drafting shareholder agreements, trademark applications, contracts and other documentation associated with an attorney's specialty (bankruptcy, real estate, criminal, immigration, for example)
Coursework for Paralegal Studies
Earning a Bachelor degree in paralegal studies requires completion of the following courses:
Why Earn a Paralegal Degree Online?
- Legal ethics
- Constitutional law
- Components of the litigation process (discoveries, motions and summonses, pre- and post-trial processes)
- Federal bankruptcy laws
- Role of the government in legal issues
- Criminal justice system
- Computer literacy
- Research methods
Skilled paralegals are always in demand by overloaded law firms that handle thousands of cases each year and salaries can be quite lucrative. In addition, many paralegals discover that they love the job so much they decide to pursue their law degree and become licensed practicing attorneys.
Earning a paralegal bachelor degree online is not only more convenient than attending a "brick and mortar" university but reduces expenses related to gas, vehicle wear and tear and eating out every day. Many online paralegal students hold down full or part-time jobs while earning their degree or may even intern with law firms and gain real-world experience working as a paralegal.
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