If you enjoy cop shows and courtroom dramas, you may have already thought about a career in law. But you don’t need to be a lawyer to be part of an exciting race for justice. With a paralegal degree, you can prepare for a job where you get to work on real-life court cases without spending years in law school. As a Paralegal, you assist attorneys with research, client and witness interviews, courtroom filings, document organization, and note preparation. You could be on the frontlines of the legal system! You can find work at all different kinds of law firms. But did you know that a paralegal degree can also prepare you for other law-related jobs and even careers in business? Here are a few examples of what you might do with an Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal:
Law Careers for Paralegal Degree Holders
A legal secretary is the administrative assistant of a law firm. In this role, you take notes during meetings, schedule appointments with clients, and collect important legal documents. You may also correspond with opposing counsel and transcribe recorded meetings. And you’re in charge of accounts receivable, billing clients for the hours their lawyer spent on their case and making sure the money gets collected.
With an eye for detail and an interest in the information you gather, you could set yourself up for a career as a legal researcher. This role allows you to dig for data that could help your law firm win a case. You research court proceedings and case law, review legal documents, and gather legal data. You also stay updated on the latest court rulings and issues surrounding the law your firm practices.
As a legal transcriptionist, you need an ear as well as an eye for detail. In this position, you focus on transcribing recordings. These could be legal memos, court proceedings, client interviews, or motions. Your goal is to transcribe each audio file word for word, with complete accuracy. You typically transcribe with a headset and foot pedal that can automatically start and stop the recording as you transcribe.
Similar to legal transcription, court reporting is the process of transcribing what is said in court. But as a transcriber, you work in real time on a stenograph, with the aid of shorthand. You still need to record information accurately but also quickly. Once the proceeding ends, you translate your shorthand into a full-length transcript that will be kept as an official record.
Alternative Careers if You Have a Paralegal Degree
A paralegal degree can prepare you for work in several areas outside of law, including financial services. You could work at a bank or other lending institution, where you review legal documents and contracts for accuracy. You ensure these documents are written and executed correctly. When lawsuits are presented, you may file documentation with the courts or conduct research on behalf of your institution.
In HR, there are many rules to follow when it comes to the recruitment, hiring, training, and firing of employees. Your knowledge of law will come in handy and could prepare you for a career as an HR specialist. In this role, you might recruit employees, participate in the hiring process, and help onboard them. You could organize special training and put together benefits packages. You also ensure that laws are followed regarding time worked, workplace safety, and employee reporting protocols.
Since you need to be well-organized with a fine attention to detail to earn your paralegal degree, your education can also be used for a career as an administrative assistant. As an admin or executive assistant, you ensure that a business or corporate office runs smoothly. You answer phones and emails, schedule appointments, and take notes during meetings. You also maintain files and order office supplies when needed.
As a compliance analyst, you help ensure that the business or organization you work for follows all the rules. That includes federal and state guidelines for hiring employees, workplace and equipment safety, time off and time worked, product liability, and more. You regularly schedule audits to check for compliance and work with managers and employees to bring lagging areas into compliance.
Do any of these career sound like a fit for your future? The Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal degree at Charter College can provide you with foundational knowledge in law, legal disputes, and criminal and civil matters that can help you build a career at a law firm or corporate legal department. And what you learn in your paralegal degree program is easily transferrable to other careers. The program is offered online for your convenience and flexibility. Call 888-200-9942 or fill out the form to learn more.