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About the Paralegal Profession


 

The Paralegal Profession



Paralegals play key roles in law offices.

Paralegals perform legal and factual research; draft legal documents; gather facts and manage data for attorneys and, in some cases, represent clients before administrative agencies.


Paralegals are in demand.

The US Department of Labor predicts job growth for paralegals to be much faster than average. Formally trained paralegals will have the best employment opportunities.


An American Bar Association(ABA) approved program ensures quality.

The ABA only approves programs that have complied with the ABA's high standards and guidelines. Attending an ABA approved program can greatly enhance a student's employment potential.

The College of the Canyons program is ABA approved.

In February 2010, the ABA formally approved College of the Canyons Paralegal Studies program. COC is the only ABA approved associate's degree program in the Santa Clarita and Antelope Valleys.



Graduation Day for Paralegal students at College of the Canyons. photo © Robin Spurs

Graduation Day for Paralegal students at College of the Canyons. photo © Robin Spurs

Is the Paralegal Profession right for you?



The following skills and traits are typical of successful paralegals:



You like research. A paralegal is able to perform factual and legal research.

You are organized. You organize files or documents in paper or electronic form and can quickly locate information or documents. Good organization skills can make or break a client's case, help reduce stress, and go a long way in making the paralegal an indispensable member of a legal team.

You are a good writer. Clear, error-free writing is an essential part of a paralegal's job.

You work well with limited supervision. You should be able to perform an assigned task and then suggest the next steps based upon experience and the direction of the case.

You are flexible and work well under pressure. Being flexible, unflappable and handling criticism well are valuable qualities for a successful paralegal.

You have good people skills and a genuine desire to help clients. A paralegal must be comfortable working with diverse groups of people.

You have a positive attitude. A positive attitude is an essential quality for working with a legal team and for successful client relations.

You are computer literate/savvy. The best paralegals are not only comfortable with technology, but are knowledgeable about technology issues.

 


 The ABA stresses that paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public except as permitted by law.