The paralegal field has been around for decades, but it is rapidly growing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of paralegals and legal assistants in America is expected to increase by 15% between 2016 and 2026.
The average growth of this profession outpaces all other occupations in the country. No wonder why paralegal courses online are everywhere. But why should you invest in yourself to enter this line of work? Below are the main reasons paralegals spring up like mushrooms after the rain.
Generally, the compensation of paralegals is on the rise. The responsibilities of these professionals are becoming more intellectually challenging and getting broader.
One explanation for this is that attorneys no longer have a monopoly on the law as much as they used to. Paralegals these days can provide client representation in administrative hearings and offer direct services to the public.
Another catalyst for rising paralegal salary is the movement to provide equal justice for all, especially to under served sectors. Paralegals play vital roles in reconciling legal cost with quality service.
Fast Industry Entry
If you like to gain a foothold in the legal industry, but do not want to spend several years studying the law, enrolling to a paralegal course is a viable option. Online programs for legal studies are widely available today, giving aspiring individuals to get a relevant education with ease.
Of course, paralegals with more impressive resumes have more career opportunities. But almost anyone now can conveniently beef up their qualifications without attending brick-and-mortar institutions.
Long-Term Job Security
As the jobs of lawyers become more complex over time, their dependence on paralegals increases. The outlook of the paralegal profession is so bright it is considered one of the hottest non-attorney careers in the legal industry.
A paralegal can fit into any legal practice area. Finishing a specialized course is necessary to know the nuts and bolts of a particular field of expertise, but such a degree is easier to attain now than ever.
Apart from having extensive employment opportunities throughout the country, paralegals can choose to function as independent contractors and telecommute. Working from home offers many benefits to single-parent paralegals who find rigid schedules less acceptable.
Of course, self-employment comes with its own set of challenges, but it can unlock many doors. With strategy and hard work, a self-employed paralegal may even earn from than a traditionally employed one.
Compared to their predecessors in the 70s, 21st-century paralegals are earning much more respect from their peers and clients. In many cases, these professionals can perform tasks no one in the legal team can.
For the longest time, paralegals were viewed as assistants to attorneys, but time has changed. These professionals are now taking leadership roles in law firms and corporations. The entrepreneurial spirit of self-employed paralegals who oversee the daily operations is something to be admired.
Being a paralegal is not for everybody, but it is an exciting career prospect for anyone who loves law but dislikes the hassles of becoming an attorney.