There are many people who are studying to become paralegals and enter the exciting and challenging career as it relates to family law. Because families are ever changing, paralegals often find themselves being in close contact with families that are dealing with adoption, divorce, creating wills, and dividing estates. This article discusses the general paralegal duties in a family law practice.
Paralegals are often the main point of contact between families and attorneys, for paralegals assist both parties as they work throughout their case. Paralegals maintain files, draft legal documents, perform research, and organize the majority of documentation as it relates to the client’s case.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics: “Employment of paralegals and legal assistants is expected to grow by 18 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations. This occupation attracts many applicants, and competition for jobs will be strong. Experienced, formally trained paralegals should have the best job prospects.”
Legal Education Requirements
Because the paralegal is working in a legal capacity, it is imperative that the paralegal have the educational requirements and experience to effectively carry out their paralegal duties. Most often, paralegals are required to have an Associate’s degree or a Certificate in Paralegal Law, Paralegal Studies, or Legal Education. Sometimes paralegals have a Bachelor’s degree, and employers will provide on the job training.
Paralegal Law Online Degree Programs
There are a growing number of paralegal law online degree programs available for those who wish to pursue a paralegal certificate or Associate’s degree in family law or in some other field of law. There are paralegal programs available at traditional colleges and universities, as well, but the flexibility, lower cost, and the ability to complete the degree or certificate faster online has many students looking for online degree programs.
Some of the online degree programs in legal education and paralegal studies include the following courses that may apply to family law and related areas:
● Wills, Trusts, and Estates
● Business Writing
● Real Property
● Immigration Law
● Principles of Finance
● Federal Income Taxation
● Legal Document Preparation
● International Business
● Child Adoption Law
● Legal Research, Writing, and Civil Litigation
● Domestic Relations
● Public Communications Law
● Business Law and Bankruptcy
● Advanced Legal Analysis and Writing
● Introduction to Sociology
If these topics interest you, and if you love the idea of working with families as they sort through their personal issues in the field of family law, a rewarding and challenging career as a paralegal awaits you. All you need to do to get started is to begin your journey as a certified or degreed paralegal.