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Alternative Careers for Paralegals

People interested in working as a paralegal often have strong communication and research skills, traits that can be utilized in many other fields. Read on to learn about five alternative careers that may appeal to paralegals.

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Alternative Career Options for Paralegals

Paralegals assist lawyers by performing administrative tasks, such as preparing reports and organizing files. Those who wish to pursue a career as a paralegal might consider similar positions in administrative management or human resources. The options presented below are just a few that require excellent organizational skills and involve working with others.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2014-2024)*
Occupational Health and Safety Specialist $70,920 4%
Lawyer $118,160 6%
Administrative Assistant $37,230 (Secretary & Administrative Assistant) 3% (Secretary & Administrative Assistant)
Special Library Technician $32,890 (Library Technician) 5% (Library Technician or Assistant)
Legal Staffing Recruiter $65,850 (Human Resource Specialist) 5% (Human Resources Specialist)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

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  • Court Reporting
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  • Legal Assistant or Paralegal

Career Information for Alternative Careers for Paralegals

Occupational Health and Safety Specialist

Like a paralegal, a career as an occupational health and safety specialist requires excellent communication skills and strong attention to detail. As an occupational health and safety specialist, you will ensure safety in the workplace by inspecting workplaces to identify possible hazards, creating and implementing methods to protect employees, and instructing companies on various safety topics like emergency preparedness. Occupational health and safety specialists can work for government agencies or manufacturing companies and will need a bachelor's degree.

Lawyer

Those considering a career as a paralegal may also want to consider a job as a lawyer since they both work within the court system. Lawyers assist their clients on criminal or civil matters. They meet regularly with clients; prepare and argue their cases; interact with witnesses, judges, and other lawyers; and file any necessary legal forms. Lawyers work in a variety of environments, including their own practice or a law firm, and must have a law degree and pass a state bar examination.

Administrative Assistant

Administrative assistants and paralegals share similar duties. Administrative assistants work in almost every industry and provide clerical support to an individual or a department. Job responsibilities may include greeting customers in person or via telephone, coordinating meeting and travel arrangements, assisting with business correspondence, and maintaining company files. Administrative assistants need at least a high school diploma and may pursue certification through the International Association of Administrative Professionals.

Special Library Technician

Those interested in utilizing their paralegal experience may want to consider becoming a special library technician. Special library technicians work in the libraries of law firms, government agencies, or corporations. As a special library technician, your job duties will involve helping employees locate materials, conducting research, and preparing necessary reports for your organization. In order to work as a special library technician, you will need a postsecondary certificate or associate's degree in library technology.

Legal Staffing Recruiter

People considering a career as a paralegal might also consider a career as a legal staffing recruiter due to the shared focus on the legal sector. Legal staffing recruiters can work for employment services firms, government agencies, or professional services firms. They assist law firms in securing talent by creating job posts, participating in job fairs, and vetting applicants for the firms to meet with. This career requires a bachelor's degree with the option to become certified through the Society for Human Resource Management.

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