KEYWORD: Paralegal Employment (7)
The Prospects of Paralegal Employment
The paralegal profession is one of the fastest growing professions today. It has been estimated that the number of paralegal employment has doubled since 1990.
Paralegal employment is projected to grow much faster than average through 2014. Paralegals held about 224,000 jobs in 2004. Private law firms employ 7 out of 10 paralegals, while the remainder worked for corporate legal departments and various levels of government. The United States Department of Justice is the largest employer for paralegals within the Federal Government, followed by the Social Security Administration and the United States Department of the Treasury. On the other hand, some paralegals establish their own businesses and work as freelance legal assistants, contracting their services to attorneys or corporate legal departments.
Private law firms will continue to be the largest employers of paralegals, but an emergent range of other organizations such as corporate legal departments; insurance companies, real state firms and banks also hire paralegals.
The prospect of paralegal employment is continuously growing, paving the way to more opportunities for the paralegal profession.
The demand for paralegals is also expected to grow as mounting population increasingly require legal services, especially in areas such as intellectual property, health care, criminal law, environmental law, international law, and elder management issues.
Paralegals that specialize in areas such as real state, bankruptcy, product liability and medical malpractice have abundant employment opportunities.
Paralegal employment will also expand in the public sector. Community legal -service programs, which provide assistance to the poor, elderly, minorities, and middle-income families, will employ additional paralegals to figure out ways to minimize expenses and to better serve the people. In addition, federal state and local government agencies, consumer organizations and the courts continue to hire paralegals.
Modern employers are trying to reduce costs and increase the availability and efficiency of legal services by hiring paralegals to perform tasks formerly carried out by lawyers. Paralegal employment is expected to increase as organizations presently employing paralegals assign them a growing range of tasks.
However, despite projections of rapid growth of paralegal employment, competition for the paralegal positions continues, as many people seek to go into this profession. Experienced and formally trained paralegals are the ones who get the best employment offers.
Each of the offices and authorities that offer paralegal employment follows the professional standards set by the National Association of Legal Assistants and other recognized organizations for Paralegals.