What is a Paralegal

Paralegals (Legal Assistants) play an important role in assisting attorneys to provide affordable legal services. Your work as a Paralegal may include all or some of the following:

  • interviewing witnesses and clients
  • investigating cases
  • researching legal issues
  • preparing legal documents
  • assisting attorneys in court
  • handling other activities as directed by the supervising attorney

If you are interested in this field, you must:

  • have good organizational skills
  • be detail-oriented (e.g., you may spend hours doing legal research or ensuring the accuracy of information you include in legal forms)
  • have good communication skills (oral and written)
  • be able to work independently, as well as part of a team, to solve problems

To be a paralegal, you will need to master:

  • legal terminology
  • computer skills, including word processing, databases, and spreadsheets
  • legal writing (appropriate content and format as well as correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation)
  • critical and analytical thinking

Working Environment

Upon completion of the program you will be capable of working under the supervision of attorneys to assist in effectively delivering legal services. Paralegals work in a variety of settings including:

  • private law firms
  • government agencies
  • courts
  • corporations
  • nonprofits
  • many other settings