You’re probably giving serious consideration to the possibility of acquiring a degree in paralegal studies in NYC. If that is the case, then you have come one step closer to entering one of the most exciting and rewarding careers in the United States today!
In the past, modern paralegal work was performed exclusively by attorneys. Luckily, this is no longer the norm, as paralegals are now performing much of the tasks that take time away from attorneys doing what they do best, which is to litigate.
The paralegal profession has proven to be resistant to recession since the stock market collapse in 2008. During the Great Recession, employment in many occupations declined in the U.S., yet employment in the paralegal profession displayed increased growth in the face of a weak economy.
Growth Potential for Paralegals
The position of a paralegal is one of the fastest-growing career opportunities in the U.S. according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Prospects of career opportunities and continued growth are looking superb in the coming years, which makes pursuing paralegal studies in NYC that much more attractive. The BLS is projecting a faster than average growth rate of 17% through the year 2022. The number of jobs nationwide is expected to grow by 46,200 positions in this field.
The earning potential of paralegals can be quite attractive for someone looking to enter into a prestigious career field. The BLS cites the median income of a Paralegal as being $46,990, which is well above the median average for all occupations by nearly $12,000 per annum. The potential for bonuses and overtime can also significantly increase income, especially if you are working for larger law firms.
While the trend is toward faster than average growth, the BLS identifies the current employment rate of paralegals in the NYC Metropolitan area at nearly 16,000, which is one of the highest levels of employment in the state. In addition, according to the BLS, the median salary of a paralegal in NYC is around $60,080 with opportunities for future advancement. Those who leave law firms and move into the world of corporate and financial institutions can see the potential for even greater career growth and advancement.
Reasons for Growth in the Paralegal Profession
There are several reasons why the paralegal profession is continuing to grow. Primarily, it is growing due to the need for additional personnel for ever-increasing caseloads in the court system. Efficiency and cost-cutting are also a consideration for law firms as they cut back on the high costs of attorneys, leaving many non-court related tasks for more cost efficient paralegal services.
Another option some law firms and in-house legal teams are looking at is the continued use and expansion of online legal filings for court file management systems. Electronic filings of documents create an argument for the idea that law firms would like to attract younger and tech-savvy employees. Today’s current millennials are truly considered digital natives and are quite efficient with technical methods. This makes pursuing paralegal studies in NYC a greater prospect than ever.
Opportunities and Possibilities for Employment as a Paralegal
The opportunities to be a paralegal throughout the metropolitan New York City area is almost limitless. The range of legal services in demand has never been greater, and the employment opportunities are growing for the aspiring paralegal. The range of legal services offered provides the prospective student of paralegal studies in NYC opportunities to work in these varied fields such as:
Criminal Law – There are plenty of choices here to work for firms that provide criminal defense services to those accused of crimes or to work for prosecutors at state and local agencies that pursue criminal justice on behalf of the people.
Wills, Trusts & Estates – This area of law is vital for nearly everyone who wants to protect and distribute their assets to their heirs after passing away.
Corporations – This is a rapidly growing area of law dealing with many issues that companies deal with such as mergers and contracts.
Employment Law – This is an area of law that deals with employment and workplace issues such as discrimination, injuries and dismissals from employment claims.
Administrative Agency Law – The government has many agencies that create rules and regulations that have the force of law behind them through legislative acts. This area of law helps people navigate the often confusing rule of bureaucracy.
Immigration Law – With thousands of immigrants coming to the U.S. each year, many of them can fall through the cracks and face deportation. These services help newcomers navigate the complicated waters of becoming a citizen.
Bankruptcy Law – This area of federal law helps clients to deal with asking the government to order economic relief from financial ruin due to overwhelming debts.
Elder Law – Working in this area of law provides an opportunity to help protect our aging seniors with estate planning, long-term health care, disability issues and Medicaid issues.
With the economy on track to remain steady for the foreseeable future, the Bureau of Labor Statistics sees the paralegal profession growing at an above-average rate. Because of numbers like this, the U.S. News and World Report has put this esteemed profession in the Top 20 ranking of service careers and their Top 100 list for all careers.
Starting your future career pursuing paralegal studies in NYC is a great stepping stone to a great career. The opportunity to provide vital legal services without spending six to eight years in school can be quite attractive for many who want to pursue a career in the field of law.