Traits of Successful Paralegals
Paralegals are organized, have an eye for detail, collaborate well, and enjoy in watching all the pieces of a complex matter come together.
They have good administrative sense, are inquisitive, and can contribute to an overarching goal. They have a solid work ethic, positive attitude, and can work independently yet are exceptional at developing relationships.
Good paralegals know what they want and how to get it. Companies of all sizes and industries across the globe value these skills and that means there there is virtually unlimited potential for paralegals to pursue rewarding and exciting careers.
New Paralegals Entering the Profession
Whether they are just entering the profession or pivoting from another career, many pursue paralegal careers to fulfill their passion for the law.
Some have always been intrigued by the law, and others are driven by a personal mission and desire to make a difference.
Paralegals come from many academic and professional backgrounds and can find work across the world, in practically any industry, venue or specialty.
Career Paralegals Seeking Advancement
Once titled “legal assistants” or “legal secretaries” and considered only for clerical work, paralegals now have numerous career options with increasing levels of responsibility.
Paralegals with experience, credentials and ambitious career goals can be promoted within their current organization, pursue new opportunities in different settings, and qualify for a higher pay scale. Law firms, corporations, and government agencies have identified the need for paralegal managers who are accountable for hiring, training and managing and a team of paralegals.
Law School Hopefuls
Some people pursue a paralegal education as a prelude to law school.
The paralegal education allows them to gain a foundation for later legal studies, work in the field while they go to law school, and establish a professional network before they even take the bar and to gauge whether they truly have what it takes to enter the field.
Often these students realize that the paralegal profession if their true calling. Some students discover that they get many of the benefits and personal satisfaction of working in the legal field without the expensive investment of law school; they get to work in a law firm, contribute to important cases, help people, and do exciting work without the increased stress or career sensitivity to economic fluctuations.
Future Paralegal Educators
Other people are driven to teach and know that a Master’s Degree in Paralegal Studies is a requirement in many cases to be a paralegal educator.
To be a professor, many academic institutions require a terminal degree within the field of instruction. In the paralegal profession, the GW master’s degree is the highest degree available and is one of only few paralegal master’s degrees offered in the country. Earning GW’s Master’s of Paralegal Studies degree is a recognized accomplishment that could open new doors in your career.
Where Paralegals Work
The increased reliance on paralegals has opened new professional opportunities in all industries and work settings.
Paralegals work for law firms both large and small, government agencies, corporations, non-profit organizations and even as independent consultants.
Paralegals work in a variety of industries and can specialize in any of numerous areas of practice including banking and investments, contracts, corporate affairs, criminal law, employment and labor law, entertainment law, family law, federal or jurisdictional law, healthcare reform, intellectual property and patent law, insurance, international trade and finance, litigation, medical malpractice, real estate, personal injury, public interest, and more.
Professional experiences and paralegal career paths vary greatly in each legal setting and specialty, offering paralegals the opportunity to find work in an area that aligns with their personal motivations and career goals.
Fuel Your Passion.
You have a passion for the law. You’re driven to influence lives, innovate, and lead in an exciting and growing field. You are part of a diverse group of professionals whose interests and career goals vary widely, but who share a love for the law and an ambition to excel.
GW’s online Master of Paralegal Studies program attracts students from a wide range of professional backgrounds at all stages of their careers. Whether just starting out, pivoting from another profession, advancing within the field or considering law school, GW paralegal students share passion and ambition.