About the Profession
The American Bar Association defines a legal assistant or paralegal as “a person, qualified by education, training or work experience who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, governmental agency or other entity and who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible.”
Employment of paralegals and legal assistants is projected to grow 8 percent from 2014 to 2024 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Paralegals perform various duties under the supervision of a lawyer. These activities may involve interviewing clients and witnesses, organizing case materials, monitoring legislation and regulations, drafting legal documents, and assisting an attorney in trial.
Employment opportunities exist for paralegals in a variety of legal environments. Volunteer State program graduates work in settings including large and small private practice law firms, legal departments in large and small corporations, legal services offices, government agencies, insurance companies, etc. Paralegal job titles may vary, including paralegals, legal assistants, and legal technicians. Some individuals with paralegal backgrounds work in related occupations with titles including law office managers, insurance adjusters, government program specialists, lobbyists, and court clerks.