There couldn’t be a better time to obtain a paralegal degree or certificate than now. This fast growing profession presents an excellent opportunity to enter into a prestigious career in the legal field.
Becoming a Paralegal or Legal Assistant offers many opportunities to work alongside some of the most talented people in the legal profession. One of the greatest pleasures of this business is being part of helping others seek justice. Your contribution and expertise can help make a difference in people’s lives.
1. Opportunities Abound
There are thousands of law firms throughout NYC, which presents a unique opportunity for the aspiring student to obtain a paralegal degree in NYC. These law firms represent the broad range of legal services offered to clients such as opportunities in:
- Criminal Law
- Wills, Trusts & Estates
- Employment Law
- Administrative Agency Law
- Immigration Law
- Bankruptcy Law
- Elder Law
There are even unique opportunities for a paralegal to work directly for state and local agencies within the City of New York in a broad range of legal assisting positions. Selecting a local collegiate institution can place you in a unique position to gain valuable contacts within the legal community throughout the city.
Getting a paralegal degree in NYC normally consists of 60 credit hours of preparation that incorporates a variety of coursework such as legal theory, law terminology and specialized elective legal courses depending upon the area of expertise of your interest. During these programs, students will learn from respected legal scholars and work in an internship that places them among some of the best legal minds in the industry.
2. Expected Job Growth and Pay
The growth rate for paralegals is climbing according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The current employment rate in the NYC Metropolitan area is nearly 16,000 positions, which is one of the highest levels of employment in the state. The BLS lists the median salary of a paralegal in NYC as being $60,080 with opportunities for advancement. That applies especially to those who leave law firms and move into the world of corporate and financial institutions.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the prospect of future growth and career opportunities for paralegals is quite bright for the years ahead. Growth in this field is expected to grow faster than average at a rate of 17% by 2020.
3. Gain Valuable Experience
Getting your foot in the door with a paralegal degree in NYC may provide students with an excellent opportunity to grow within the profession and perhaps even advance with continuing education.
A paralegal executes a varying range of responsibilities to support attorneys with their caseloads while providing a valuable and tangible service working side-by-side with their employer and clients. The services they perform for attorneys include:
- Interviewing clients and witnesses.
- Conducting legal research from case law, statutes and legal publications.
- Preparing court documents and drafting legal correspondence such as contracts.
- Filing legal documents with the courts.
- Help gather relevant evidence for presentation as exhibits in a court of law.
- Assisting in investigations to acquire facts.
- Assisting attorneys in depositions and court hearings.
- Keep relevant documents retained and filed in paper and electronic formats.
This kind of experience as a paralegal opens an opportunity later on for continued studies in the legal field, possibly opening the door to becoming an attorney.
4. Client Contact
While most paralegals work under the supervision of an attorney, many paralegals have the opportunity to work directly with clients. Paralegals may interview potential clients, prepare clients for depositions, assist clients in gathering data and much more.
Working closely with clients provides those just starting work as a paralegal great opportunities to hone critical skills and make connections, opening many doors down the road in their legal career.
5. The Value of Being a New Yorker
Not everything should be about employment alone. Where one lives and works is of great value toward quality of life. Living and working in NYC is unique among the great cities, with the skyline as one of the most iconic sights on the entire globe. This city is home to great entertainment, such as award-winning plays on Broadway.
Embedding yourself into the New York cultural scene is something you should experience and embrace. While working as a paralegal in this great city, you will experience more than you can imagine. The night scene is endless with nightclubs, music and the arts. The possibilities are endless in a city with an upbeat tempo that grinds around the clock.