Working under the supervision of attorneys, paralegals draft legal documents and help lawyers prepare for real estate closings, trials and hearings, as well as manage law offices. Programs often require special projects or supervised cooperative work experiences for degree completion.
Bachelor's Degree in Paralegal Office Management
Paralegal students take classes that focus on the principles of litigation, research skills, communications and legal office procedures. They gain hands-on training in legal office administration and management through internship opportunities and capstone projects. In addition to general education courses, students may encounter courses like:
- Legal writing
- Evidence procedures
- Criminal law
- Probate law
Popular Career Options
Paralegals find career opportunities in private law firms, corporate legal departments and government offices. Depending on their area of interest, paralegals can find jobs as:
- Corporate paralegals
- Litigation paralegals
- Legal assistants
Employment Outlook and Salary
From 2018 to 2028, a 12% increase in job opportunities was projected for paralegals and legal assistants, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The bureau reported that this group had a mean salary of $54,500 as of May 2018.
Continuing Education and Professional Certification
A few schools offer graduate certificates and master's degrees in paralegal studies. Students in these programs complete a core curriculum of legal courses and may specialize in a particular field of study, such as government law or international law. Some paralegals may choose to further their education in the field of law by completing law school.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that voluntary certification could be beneficial in the job market (www.bls.gov). The National Association of Legal Assistants offers the Certified Paralegal designation to paralegals who meet experience and education requirements and who pass all five sections for the credentialing exam. Certification for qualified paralegals is also available from the American Alliance of Paralegals, Inc. and National Federation of Paralegal Associations.
Those who complete a bachelor of science in paralegal office management will study legal office administrative tasks. Voluntary certification is available for graduates and can help open employment doors.