Legal Assistants, Paralegals, And Lawyers - What's The Difference? |

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Legal Assistants, Paralegals, And Lawyers - What's The Difference?

If you've ever dreamed of one day becoming a lawyer but you've been hesitant to take the plunge, a viable alternative would be to become a legal assistant or paralegal. Both are two peas in a pod and either one is probably as close as you can get to becoming a lawyer, without actually becoming one.
In addition, employment in this field is projected to grow much faster than average. The current trend of employers trying to reduce costs by hiring paralegals to perform duties formerly carried out by lawyers is expected to continue into the foreseeable future. As a result, employment opportunities are projected to grow much faster than average for the next 10 years or so.

Online Training

From doing extensive research on various cases to helping create legal drafts and filing every important legal document, interested individuals can actually learn all they need to in the comfort of their own homes through online paralegal training.

This is where you'll actually get the basic knowledge that you'll need in order to become a full-fledged legal assistant. However, be advised that law firms as well as other legal institutions are looking for highly skilled legal assistants who can outwit others with their keen sense of critical thinking.

Many online legal assistant and paralegal training programs will condense 27 subject units into 10 with six and 12-month certificate programs being offered. How you want to approach the training is really up to you and how the different options being offered best fit in your budget, schedule, and how quickly you can master the subject matter.

Online paralegal training clearly has its perks with the obvious one being convenience.

One must always keep in mind the paralegal's or legal assistant's primary function--whether working for a private law firm or government agency--is to assist the lawyers with their case loads. Duties include extensive case research and organizing all types of files, drafting contracts for clients, mortgages, drafting of separation agreements, tax returns, planning estates, as well as other important legal duties.

However, there are actually some paralegals that do more than that. At times, they are also asked to organize and coordinate the schedules and activities of other employees in the law office, perhaps even to track law office financial records. Of course, this is clearly dependent on the employer and on the skill set each legal assistant brings to the table. On the other hand, it's always best to be prepared for such tasks, which is why you never place limits on yourself and why you should always be looking for ways to obtain additional training. In other words, even after you earn a six or 12-month certificate online, keep going.

A few simple ways to enhance your knowledge is by reading various law books as well as absorbing the legal environment by watching the news and keeping abreast of current events. You should always strive to keep yourself up to snuff with whatever is happening in the news and try to challenge yourself even further by coming up with arguments and other legal discussions concerning whichever cases you've been assigned to handle.

Online training boasts some of the best minds in the legal profession. They can offer their expertise in creating drafts for a variety of situations and basically just give legal assistant hopefuls the basic knowledge behind law.

The current and projected abundance of work opportunities is one of the primary reasons why there's been a literal mushrooming of online paralegal training sites popping up. Many of the traditional brick and mortar training schools and facilities are now offering online training.

Browse through all sorts of online paralegal training sites, compare training fees, as well as how extensive their online paralegal training programs are. You'll make a wise choice if you put the same effort into finding the right source to train you as plan on putting into the learning process.


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