Chapter 1

Discovering the Paralegal Profession


Bullet Looking into what paralegals do

Bullet Familiarizing yourself with the kinds of workplaces paralegals encounter

Bullet Getting the proper training to work as a paralegal

With so much media coverage for attorneys and so little for the equally important paralegals, you may not be entirely familiar with what a paralegal career entails. In this chapter, we tell you what paralegals do, where paralegals work, and what it takes to become a paralegal.

Almost a Lawyer: What a Paralegal Does

Both paralegals and lawyers are legal professionals. The difference is that an attorney must supervise a paralegal’s work, and a paralegal can’t do certain things, like give legal advice and represent clients in court.

But there are many things paralegals can do. Because using a paralegal instead of an attorney can save a lot of money, law firms and corporations are increasingly relying on paralegals. As a paralegal, you’ll likely be doing many of the tasks that in past decades were accomplished only by licensed attorneys. We cover some of these important tasks in the following sections.

Researching and analyzing the law

Courts make decisions about ...

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