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There are many careers involving money and banking, which include importing, exporting, and stock brokerage. These fields may require credentials or particular qualifications.
Government specialist: Many paralegals are interested in government regulatory issues; politics or working in a political environment can always be explored; lobbying is a career for which paralegals could be well suited. In addition, civil service opportunities are available. Check your local government offices along, with times and dates of civil ser-vice examinations.
Journalist: Research and writing in the legal field is a career open to those who have demonstrated their writing skills and expertise in a field or specialty. While many may wish to pursue this goal on a freelance basis, there are companies, which hire paralegals and then use their writing talents predominantly.
Salesperson: Those interested in combining interpersonal skills and paralegal training with a personal need to receive the rewards of their individual efforts, may consider sales, specifically for all materials and equipment used by attorneys.
Corporate specialist: Review the paralegal specialties listed in the first chapter of this book to give you some idea of particular specialties. Developing experience or expertise in those areas will prepare you for many types of work within a corporation. Some of these areas include working in the patent or trademark division or employee benefits office.
Real estate specialist: You may develop a paralegal specialty in this area and work with an attorney in various aspects when you realize that you enjoy the real estate field and all of its possibilities. As a result, you may think of real estate sales or management, including title and mortgage company positions. Your paralegal training will be an additional asset.
Medical specialist: With changing policies regarding health care in this country, many career options exist in this field for paralegals. Within hospital settings or insurance agencies (even nonmedical insurance firms), your paralegal training will prepare you to take on additional responsibilities if you have the other personal and professional qualifications.
While each of these fields might require additional training (not necessarily a degree, but some specialized training that could be gained on the job), they should be considered, particularly, if they seem to tie in with your interests, talents, and goals.
You may, of course, plan to go on to law school, but the point of this discussion is to emphasize that becoming a paralegal can lead you to job opportunities in many different fields that are directly related or indirectly related to the legal field.
Additional educational training might be necessary should you wish to become an expert in the field. That may not always be the case, however. For example, you may not be certain where your true interests and talents lie, so until you know this, going ahead with additional education or training may not be the answer. Being a paralegal will give you a good idea of what it would be like to remain in the legal field should you decide you want to become a lawyer. However, even if you do not wish to do so, think of your paralegal training as a background for developing other interests you have. It's also important to realize that being a paralegal could easily be a stepping stone to other careers that are not as rigorous or demanding as that of a paralegal-or perhaps even more so, but in a different way. There may be other areas in which you could expand your talents and professional options.
In considering your professional development as a paralegal or in other fields, one can review the list of resources, talk to people who have used their paralegal background and try to determine which areas or professions hold a particular appeal for you. Learn to ask questions and look for opportunities as you make your plans.
Suggestions for Planning Your Future as a Paralegal
Develop special interests and expertise in the area of law that appeals to you.
Continue your professional education. Become involved with your local paralegal association. Attend professional workshops and programs that will help you develop your skills and inform you about options.
Develop your networking affiliations. Let people know of your interests and ambitions. Do not forget to thank them when they have helped you in any way.
Look for ways to become the best at what you do and gain visibility for your work. This will help you to achieve your goal
Remember that you should at least perform the job for which you are hired. If you become bored or burned out, it could be that you have not planned to take the next step. Always keep in mind that you do have options. Discover them.
Update your resume periodically. Be prepared to submit a copy to someone who could be interested in what you have done.
Learn to build on your experiences and integrate them into the job you are doing that relates to a position you would like to have.
Take the time and effort to develop strong communication skills: interpersonal, written, and verbal.
Find ways to use these skills so that you are recognized not only for what you do, but also for what you are capable of doing.
Learn to set standards of excellence for yourself in your job without being a fanatic perfectionist or judging the work of others. Know the job for which you are responsible, and do it to the best of your ability.
Develop a self-analytical approach to your job and yourself. In planning your future, determine what is important to you as a professional, learn to examine your options carefully, and learn what steps you will need to take you to achieve your goals.
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Hi, I’m Harrison Barnes. I’m serious about improving Lawyers’ legal careers. My only question is, will it be yours?
About Harrison Barnes
Harrison is the founder of BCG Attorney Search and several companies in the legal employment space that collectively gets thousands of attorneys jobs each year. Harrison is widely considered the most successful recruiter in the United States and personally places multiple attorneys most weeks. His articles on legal search and placement are read by attorneys, law students and others millions of times per year.
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