Most people who are interested in law already know that lawyers can specialize in many different areas. Well, so can paralegals! Depending on the program, paralegals may take any number of elective classes that deal with different aspects of law. When they enter the field as working professionals, paralegals generally seek employment with law firms that specialize in the types of law that interest them the most or in which they have prior experience through internships. Here are just some of the ways students seeking paralegal careers can specialize when they graduate.
Litigation Paralegal Careers
Because litigation attorneys work with lawsuits and court cases, a litigation paralegal career can be exciting and heavily involved in trials. A litigation paralegal will spend a great deal of time before a trial interviewing witnesses, preparing affidavits and other documents that may serve as testimony, and sifting through records for evidence. Litigation paralegals may attend trials with the attorneys they work for to help them with courtroom tasks like setting up exhibits, going through trial transcripts, and interviewing jury members. When a case is settled out of court, a litigation paralegal will help the attorney prepare the necessary settlement paperwork in accordance with the terms of the agreement.
Constitutional Law Paralegal Careers
Students who are interested in contemporary and hard-hitting issues being debated right now may find a perfect fit in the field of constitutional law. Law firms that deal with cases involving civil liberties, human rights, privacy, gay rights, and workplace discrimination rely on paralegals to research these cases. Whether you dream of helping to protect the NRA’s right to bear arms or working for the ACLU on freedom of press issues, paralegals involved with constitutional law cases can make a real difference in the world.
Immigration Paralegal Careers
Immigration is another aspect of law that is always being debated and constantly changes with the political climate. An immigration paralegal must stay current with all new legislation about how people may legally enter, work in, and live in the U.S. Immigration paralegals interview clients about their specific circumstances and help them secure necessary documentation like visas and green cards to maintain legal status.
Real Estate Paralegal Careers
Anyone who has ever bought or sold a house knows how much legal legwork is involved in the transaction. What most people don’t realize is that real estate paralegals do much of this work behind the scenes. Real estate paralegals draft all sorts of documents involved in selling, purchasing, and renting residential and commercial property. It’s a good idea for people who want to become real estate paralegals to have some experience in sales and finance, particularly lending.
Corporate Paralegal Careers
Instead of working for a law firm, a corporate paralegal performs similar functions for a corporation under the supervision of a company attorney. This kind of paralegal career requires skills in many areas of law, as corporate paralegals are called upon to do everything from drawing up employee contracts to keeping minutes of board meetings. They may also work on securing loans and researching how new legislation will affect the company.