The legal profession is one of the most challenging and rewarding professions to be a part of. It is the profession that upholds one of the major pillars of civilisation – law and order. Law is not something that can be taken lightly. But when one thinks law, one typically thinks of lawyers and judges, of courtrooms and police. But when one delves deeper, one will find that there are less glamorous yet equally rewarding professions that can be chosen in the field. One such profession is that of a paralegal.
Paralegal assistants do not require any formal education, though it cannot hurt your chances of landing a job in the ever competitive legal field. Paralegals are professionals who assist formal legal representatives by researching and building the cases of their clients. Paralegals are not qualified to give legal advice to common people but work for different lawyers and legal representatives. Their roles and responsibilities include planning, development and management of cases; legal research; drafting of correspondence, pleadings, document responses and discoveries, preparation for and assistance during trials; analysis and summary of documents; and any other activities that may be of assistance to official legal representatives. As such, though they do not require to be qualified by degrees and certificates, paralegals do need to possess extensive legal terminology and must be great at organisation and research.
Paralegals may need only a few months of training to prepare for their job. Vocational training courses like a Certificate in Paralegal Practice may be of some assistance in landing good jobs. While choosing a course, it is better to go for courses offering some kind of government qualification and practice oriented learning environment. Paralegals with experience on the field are obviously preferred to those with mere academic knowledge. It will also help if you pick a course that can train you for specialising in a particular field of law. Like lawyers, Paralegals also have a chance to offer specialisations in their services. Popular specialisations are in Personal injury and Public liability.
Paralegal is a highly unregulated profession but has only become more competitive with passing time. The average salary of a paralegal in Australia is around AU$51,434 per year. Depending on individual capacity, it has been known to reach as high as AU$71K per year.