Paralegals, or legal assistants, have been trained in substantive or procedural law and are qualified to perform various legal tasks. Like lawyers, paralegals are involved in the different practice areas of the law, such as civil litigation, criminal law, corporate law, family law, immigration law, employment law, intellectual property law, real estate law, and estate planning. Paralegals perform their legal work under the supervision and direction of licensed attorneys. However, paralegals cannot practice law, cannot accept clients or represent clients in courts, and paralegals cannot establish legal fees.
Use the following sources to research how you can learn more about becoming a paralegal.
Career Opportunities in Law & the Legal Industry (2007)
Provides career profiles of legal-related professions in litigation consulting, court support, criminal justice, dispute resolution, compliance, education, and libraries.
Everything Guide to Being a Paralegal (2006)
Describes what a paralegal does, career options, ethics and professional responsibility, the American legal and court system, and different legal specialties, such as criminal law, family law, etc.
Opportunities in Paralegal Careers (2005)
Educational preparation, comparisons between private and public sector jobs,
government jobs, earnings and benefits, and related court careers are discussed.
American Bar Association, Standing Committee on Paralegals
This site is provided by the American Bar Association. Here you will find information on preparing for a career as a paralegal, where to get training and what it means to graduate from an ABA-approved paralegal education program.
This is a free legal website with information on all aspects of the law, including paralegal training, paralegal job postings and more.
Occupational Outlook Handbook
This site is provided by the U.S. government. It describes occupations, including training and education needed, salary, and other useful information
National Association of Legal Assistants
This site provides comprehensive information about the field of legal assistants and paralegals: what they do, professional standards, educational programs and occupational outlook.