Category Archives: Paralegal

Real Estate Paralegal Specialty

Real-Estate-Paralegal-Specialty

Unlike estate planning paralegals, real estate paralegals deal with the laws and legalities as it pertains specifically to the real estate industry. The majority of paralegals who desire to specialize in real estate law have a deep desire to work in the ever-evolving residential and commercial real estate industries. This unique specialization is rapidly growing and is known to pay above-average when compared to other paralegal specialties.

As with any professional career within the legal industry, in order to venture into this unique workforce, you must not only be prepared to satisfy the daily job requirements, but also obtain a specialized education. Because you’ll be expected to fully understand real estate transactions, contracts, tax law and other vital aspects of the real estate industry, there are several unique qualifying milestones you should achieve before entering this industry. Doing so will make this transition as simple and streamlined as possible.

Step #1 – Obtaining a Paralegal Degree or Certificate

The first milestone you must accomplish when it comes to working as a real estate law paralegal is obtaining your education. Generally, real estate paralegals earn a technical certificate or a degree in paralegal studies. The most important element to remember is to seek out a training program that is accredited by the American Bar Association. There are many online and traditional training programs available.

Step #2 – Specializing in Real Estate Law

While there are no concentrations or study emphasis within the majority of paralegal study training programs, there are additional courses and certification programs available to students. You may choose to undergo unique courses, which do not equal a certificate, diploma or degree. However, you may also choose to enroll in a real estate law certification program. While individual state requirements for paralegal certification often vary, when combined with your paralegal studies certificate or degree, you will clearly demonstrate your proficiency and knowledge when it comes to the unique requirements of real estate law.

Step #3 – Internships

Perhaps the most important step you will take when it comes to entering this workforce is within the realm of internships. A real estate law internship will not only allow you the opportunity to put your recent knowledge to use, but it also allows you the rare opportunity to network with other professionals. In many cases, upon completion of a real estate paralegal internship, you are offered employed either by the company you interned for or with an affiliated company. This is an excellent opportunity to truly make the transition into your new career as easy, simplified and streamlined as possible.

Business Law Paralegal Specialty

Business-Law-Paralegal-Specialty

Business law paralegals, which are also referred to as corporate law paralegals, is an advanced-level paralegal who specializes in the variety of legal matters that are often only seen within a corporate – or business – setting. If you’re an aspiring business law paralegal, then it’s essential that you fully understand what your daily roles and responsibilities may be as well as the various educational pathways you can take to enter this dynamic and ever-evovling workforce.

The Roles and Responsibilities of a Business Law Paralegal

law-businessThe business industry is a complex and multi-faceted industry filled with a variety of various legalities. Law firms who specialize in business law generally service a variety of both large and small business organizations. The issues tackled by these law firms typically include: sales, property issues, contractual agreements, employment law, commercial compliance and securities. Because of the broad scope of practice found in the majority of business law firms, business law paralegals must obtain a vast knowledge base.

While some of the common daily duties of a business law paralegal may seem familiar, there are several that are unique when it comes to this scope of practice. These include:

1.) Drafting legal documents and communications between the law firm and clients

2.) Filing forms to satisfy the Uniform Commercial Code compliance guideline

3.) Interviewing clients and third party individuals to satisfy the requirements of a specific case

4.) Ensuring the the Security of State document filing requirements are fully met

5.) Assisting lawyers with dissolution, mergers and acquisitions

6.) Maintaining case file documents – either in hard copy or in digital format

7.) Maintaining current and accurate scheduling when it comes to court cases and the progress of specific cases

The Benefits of Business Law Paralegal Specialty

While there are many paralegals who wish to keep their involvement within this profession on a more generalized stance, those who decide to specialize in business law experience not only greater clout within the industry, but also higher salaries. If your goal is to work closely with businesses of all sizes to help ensure their success and work alongside a team of experienced business lawyers, this is an excellent option. The majority of business law paralegals work for several years within this field to further their understanding of business law before delving into law school to become a lawyer.

Business Law Paralegal Educational Pathways

In order to become a business law paralegal, you should consider specializing your educational pathway. For example, the National Association of Legal Assistants offers a unique certification program designed specifically for business law paralegals. Because the average salary of business law paralegals is roughly $61,000 per year, the investment into a specialized education is well worth it.

Criminal Law Paralegal Specialty

Criminal-Law-Paralegal-Specialty

If you’re wondering, which paralegal certification should i get, but you’ve had your eyes set on working directly within the criminal justice system as a paralegal, then there’s good news for you. The role of a paralegal within criminal law is booming within recent years. Criminal law paralegals primarily work within a law library or in an attorney’s office. Throughout the past several years, the roles and responsibilities of a criminal law paralegal has grown and delved into tasks that were traditionally reserved for attorneys. Because of this, working as a criminal law paralegal has become a dynamic and vastly-involved career option. Of course, a criminal law paralegal isn’t legally allowed to actually practice law. Therefore, all of your work is directed and supervised by a licensed attorney.

A criminal law paralegal must hold a strong understanding when it comes to the basic-level classification of crimes. You must also be well-versed with a variety of legal procedures, such as arrest, probation, bail as well as search and seizure. Although the daily tasks you may be faced with can dramatically vary, there are several universal tasks that you’ll typically be required to carry out. These include:

1.) Perform interviews with witnesses
2.) Engage in legal research for a specific case
3.) Prepare legal and trial documentation
4.) Assist attorney’s while they prepare for a trial
5.) Draft briefs, motions and complaints to be used in criminal proceedings

Because of the nature of this career, the most successful applicants are those who have obtained an associate’s degree in paralegal studies. However, this isn’t the only educational pathway to enter this career field. If you have a bachelor’s degree, you can opt for a post-degree certificate in paralegal studies with an emphasis in criminal law. Some students find it beneficial to obtain a criminal justice associate’s or bachelor’s degree and then pursue a technical certificate in paralegal studies.

Criminal-Law-Attorney

Because of the demand found within this specialty, the majority of criminal law paralegals find it beneficial to take additional coursework within the scope of this practice. Some of the most essential courses you should take include:

1.) Contracts – both reading and writing these essential legal documents

2.) Criminal Law Essentials – While you aren’t an attorney, you should be well-versed in the essential components that make up criminal law. Being able to clearly demonstrate your proficiency in these topics will garner you higher employment options and potentially higher salaries.

3.) Legal Writing – A major job function of a criminal law paralegal is drafting legal documents. The techniques needed to successfully draft a legal document is vastly different then the requirements for other forms of writing.

4.) Ethics and Responsibility in the Workforce – Because you’ll be dealing with sensitive information, you must be well-versed in the ethical responsibilities and regulations that are specific to the criminal law branch of the legal system.

Bankruptcy Law Paralegal Specialty

Bankruptcy-Law-Paralegal-Specialty

After you have run explored paralegal schools near me and weight your options, you will want to consider the numerous career specialties ahead of you. Unlike what many aspiring paralegals think, you don’t have to work in a general law office. Instead, you can narrow your scope of practice and delve into a specialty area. If you’ve always had an interest in the financial industry, and wish to meld your passion for law and finance into a thriving career, then you may be interested in becoming a bankruptcy law paralegal. As a bankruptcy law paralegal, you’ll provide direct support with attorney’s and their various clients within the scope of bankruptcy proceedings. Although the general job duties of this role are similar to those of a standard paralegal career, there are unique responsibilities and requirements that are only found within this scope of practice.

Bankruptcy Law Paralegal Job Responsibilities

As a bankruptcy law paralegal, you’re responsible for assisting with every step of the bankruptcy process, which can vary based upon client and the scope of the bankruptcy. These unique cases typically involve filling out and processing a high volume of standardized forms, which must be filed with a court system as quickly as possible. Therefore, you must hold strong organizational and time-management skills.

A bankruptcy law paralegal, may also work directly with debtors and creditors. Therefore, they must be well-versed in state and federal bankruptcy laws and procedures. Some of the most common job functions and responsibilities of a bankruptcy law paralegal include:

1.) Writing and filing proof of claims within tight deadlines

2.) Gathering, organizing and filing various documentation which supports the facts of a claim

3.) Managing case files and continuously updating these files as a case develops

4.) Guiding debtors throughout the bankruptcy process – answering detailed questions and navigating emotionally-charged conversations

bankruptcyBankruptcy Law Paralegal Educational Pathways

Because of the competition found within this industry, you’ll want to remain competitive by completing an associate’s degree in paralegal studies. In fact, some employers require this level of education to even consider an applicant. Although business law is briefly covered in a general paralegal training program, to really succeed within this career you should seek out additional business law training. Consider enrolling in a business law certification course or taking additional coursework within the scope of business law. When reviewing certification programs, make sure to check the requirements as many paralegal and law-centric certificate programs require a bachelor’s degree.

Bankruptcy Law Paralegal Job Outlook

According to the latest salary data, the average annual income for a business law paralegal can vary from $45,000 to $50,000 per year. However, the actual amount can significantly vary based upon employer and geographical location. The Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that the paralegal industry is expected to grow by eight percent form now until 2024, which is average for most industries during this time frame.

Employment Law Paralegal Specialty

Employment-Law-Paralegal-Specialty

As a paralegal you’re able to specialize in a wide variety of legal specializations. Perhaps one of the most popular – and well paying – is that of an employment law paralegal. Also referred to as a labor law paralegal, those specialize in this field should have a genuine interest in labor laws and have a desire to work closely with court proceedings and procedures. You will, obviously, be required to hold an above-average knowledge when it comes to the current labor laws and employment practices.

An employment law paralegal will actively assist not only attorney’s but also employee-employer communications when it comes to various employment practices. You will be expected to work directly with employers to ensure they are in compliance with the various labor laws and help clarify any unfair practices their company may be implementing. As with many other paralegal specialties, the vast majority of your time will be spent handling paperwork. You’ll also find yourself working with worker unions to help mediate conversations and resolve issues, such as insurance disputes and unemployment problems.

Employment Labour LawAs an employment law paralegal, you’ll be expected to hold not only standard skills for a paralegal, but also unique skillsets only utilized by those within this scope of practice. You must not only have a strong working knowledge of various legal terms and various procedures that directly pertain to the employment law scope of practice. You will be expected to hold an above-average understanding of office procedures and computer software, such as case management software programs.

Because an employment law paralegal will be responsible for handling and reviewing time sensitive documentation, you must be able to expertly prioritize your daily tasks as well as maintain above-average organizational skills. You’ll constantly be working in a team environment, so this is a skillset you must master.

Although there aren’t any mandatory educational requirements to become an employment law paralegal, there are several pathways you can take to increase your chances of employment. To begin, you should earn a certificate or degree in paralegal studies. From here, it’s important to engage in an additional certificate program or additional coursework within the scope of labor and employment law. You may find such programs at your local community college, university, technical school or even online via accredited institutions. Perhaps one of the most important elements to look for when selecting a paralegal training program, is to seek out one that’s been accredited by the American Bar Association.

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