Paralegals work with attorneys and perform a wide range of tasks such as legal and records research, drafting legal documents and preparing correspondence. They prepare case summaries for their employers and may also interview new clients. The minimum level of education for this field is a two year paralegal training course. Many paralegals have four year degrees. Basic computer skills and excellent written and verbal communication are necessary for this position.
About Sample Paralegal Resumes
Most law offices require that job applicants submit a resume before being granted an interview. It is necessary to have an attractive, concise and informative resume. Before you start writing your resume it is wise to review several sample paralegal resumes which are widely available online free of charge. Sample resumes provide a template for the best methods of presenting your information when you write your resume.
How to Write a Paralegal Resume
Always include all information about your educational background including the names and addresses of the schools you attended and the degrees or certifications which you earned. Individuals who are continuing their education should note this in the resume. In addition, list all past employers and their addresses with your job title and responsibilities at each position.
Most employers request the names and contact information of personal and business references so it saves time to include this in the resume. Memberships in professional or community associations should also be noted. Any internships during your education and any volunteer work that is related to your career should appear in the resume.
Paralegal Job Description
Most paralegals are employed by private law firms and public service offices such as district attorney offices, courts and legal aid. They work under the direct supervision of attorneys and assist them in preparing cases for trial, preparing legal documents and performing research on case law. Paralegals may also be required to research public records for a variety of legal purposes. They also prepare form complaints, declarations and correspondence. Attention to detail is critical since proper documentation is central to preparing legal cases. Fast and accurate typing with excellent verbal and written communication skills are essential in this career.
The average salary for a paralegal in the United States is between $45,000 and $50,000 per year. While geographic location plays a role in determining salary, the biggest factor in paralegal salaries is specialty. Paralegals who work for corporations earn the highest salaries while those working in public service jobs earn the least. Starting salaries in this field average $25,000 per year and experienced paralegals may earn as much as $80,000 per year.
The job growth outlook for paralegals for the next decade is slightly higher than the national average of 12%. Paralegals earn less than attorneys and do many of the jobs an attorney would otherwise have to complete and makes economic sense for law firms to make the best use of paralegals to save valuable attorney hours. Qualified individuals entering this field should not have in difficulty obtaining a position in a law firm or public office.