The paralegal field is very lucrative, and offers room for growth in many different areas. A paralegal in New York City can work in a variety of legal areas, and can find success with corporate firms, with private firms, as a consultant, or in the public arena. Many paralegals can even work from home, or earn a significant amount of money taking temporary jobs. If you’re considering attending college to earn an associate’s degree in paralegal studies or a paralegal certificate, take a look below to learn about some of the skills that can help you succeed as a paralegal.
Most of your work as a paralegal will be done on computers, through the use of various technology and software programs. You will need to use a computer for research, drafting legal documents, and correspondence, and it’s likely that you’ll need to work in some sort of legal database or use a legal software program. Beyond just basic computer and technology skills, you will be expected to quickly learn more specialized skills that may vary from firm to firm. You will also need to be able to troubleshoot and solve general technological problems that may arise.
The main priority of a paralegal is to make life easier for your attorney or attorneys. This includes not only organizing and prioritizing your workload, but also keeping track of the attorney’s due dates and schedule to ensure no deadline or court appearance is missed. You must be efficient, know how to prioritize, and be assertive and proactive about meeting goals.
Communication and People Skills
A paralegal must have exceptional and varied communication skills. You will have to interact and communicate effectively with a wide variety of people, from attorneys, judges, and court personnel to witnesses, clients, and the other paralegals and legal secretaries in your office. Many of the people you communicate with may be impatient, harried, emotional, or brusque, and you must be able to remain calm and helpful throughout your interactions with them.