The paralegal profession is evolving rapidly. The way attorneys perceive paralegals has changed for the better. And the way attorneys use paralegals has changed for the better as well. Gone are the days when a paralegal was hired to be a glorified secretary with some legal research skills. Today's paralegals are actively involved in many facets of the law office operation, no matter what the specialty.
When you work in the in-house legal department of a corporation, you will probably deal with some of the corporate law topics I talked about earlier and also with the law of the specific industry you are in. On the corporate side, you may assist the corporate attorneys with employee contracts and benefit plans, shareholder agreements, and stock option plans. You may send notices of meetings and take minutes at those meetings.
It is not uncommon these days to see more men doing traditionally female jobs such as teaching preschool and kindergarten and working as librarians, legal assistants or paralegals, bank tellers, speech pathologists, secretaries, data-entry workers, nurses, or even maids. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2005, 13.7% of paralegals were men. In 2004, the percentage was barely 11%.