What is a Paralegal? Fast & Informative Course for Beginners
What you'll learn
- What employers are looking for in a successful paralegal (skills, abilities, etc.)
- Legal services and the societal role and practical contributions of law offices and legal departments
- The companies, offices, or job settings where paralegals work
- The duties and tasks of paralegals and related training
- The important people in a law firm or legal department and their relationship to paralegals
- What it's really like to work as a paralegal (shadowing exercise)
- The meaning of the term paralegal
- Recent employment statistics and paralegal salary
- Resources for further reading and learning
- No previous knowledge needed about law offices or paralegals. You will quickly have a great overview of paralegals, their work, salary, skills, and weekly work.
- Focused and time-saving course. You'll learn the most important information and get engaging exercises and a game plan for learning more.
- Useful if you recently completed a college program, you are in college or university, or even experienced office workers who are considering a career change to the paralegal field.
- Importantly, while the course will briefly discuss professional association guidelines and regulatory terms and concepts, please be sure to do your own independent and up-to-date research to ensure that you understand the requirements of your jurisdiction. While this course strives to be accurate and relies on reputable sources of information, it is intended to be concise and not exhaustive. It can also contain the occasional mistake. It’s important that you do your own further reading and research to be fully-informed. Also, please note that the course is not legal advice. For legal advice, you should hire a licensed attorney. This course will give you a good overview from various different perspectives using engaging content and supplementary exercises.
What does paralegal mean? What paralegal skills do employers demand? What is the paralegal salary? Do I need a paralegal certificate? What training do paralegals need? If these or similar questions cross your mind, this short but informative beginner's class will help answer those questions and even give you a way to start assessing your skills and planning how to train to be a paralegal.
Paralegals (also called legal assistants or legal specialists) are an important part of the legal team at law offices and in legal departments of organizations. They work in a variety of settings from private law offices to corporations and public agencies. If you have a good foundation of general education and have writing skills, you like working in a structured environment, and have an eye for detail, this career path, which is expected to grow much faster than average in the next several years, may be a great option.
This concise course is designed for those who have little to no knowledge of the legal system and what paralegals do, and who want to learn more about this line of work. The course introduces and examines the paralegal career from three perspectives:
The Paralegal as a Person: Key Skills and Abilities
The Context: Broad Role and Specific Functions of a Law Office and Legal Department
The Work: Virtual shadowing exercise of a week’s work schedule
The course is concise but informative, focusing on the most useful information and uses creative ways to illustrate what employers are looking for and provides a virtual shadowing module where we examine a paralegal’s work calendar. The course closes with some current statistics, useful resources, and further reading on the next steps needed to start the journey to become a paralegal.
Who this course is for:
- College Students
- College Graduates
- Office Workers
- Legal Assistants
- Legal Secretaries
I have over six years of legal experience in the field working in law offices of various sizes (sole practice, small, boutique, and national firm). I have also had the opportunity to serve as an extern for federal administrative judges, interned with jury and trial consultants, and provided assistance at a busy court clerk’s office. Uniquely, before practicing law, I also had several years of experience as a law clerk, giving me valuable perspective on what it takes to work under the direction and supervision of an attorney. I have then gone on to supervise the work of dedicated and shared paralegals in the last six years within a complex administrative practice area. In the course of my work, I have helped mobility and human resources professionals in various organizations, large and small, public and private, to work with talented people from around the world. I have also helped train, formally and informally, numerous paralegals with various levels of legal knowledge and experience, and served as a primary legal editorial lead for complex writing matters. Many of the paralegals I have worked with have later attended top U.S. law schools and taken legal managerial (in-house) roles in companies and law firms. In addition to independent curriculum design, development, and publishing, I am also a certified online faculty member at a college of continuing education, and have been trained on best practices for the design, delivery, and assessment of high quality, accessible remote educational materials for adult learners.
Informed Educational Insights, LLC, is a California company that publishes educational content, including supplementary learning materials for specialized fields, visuals aids and learning tools, web-blogs and micro-blog content, and engaging skills courses. On Udemy, we publish practical skills courses from introductory to more advanced levels.
Instructors who teach the content have unique expertise and practical experience in their field or discipline.