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Going to law school is a worthwhile endeavor for many people, but it’s a big commitment. If you want to work in the law but either can’t or don’t want to go through a JD program for three years, there may be other options. Attorneys rely on support professionals to ensure their practices run smoothly, and you can work within a law firm or corporate environment in one of these positions. What are they and what do you need to do to get a legal job without a law degree?

Paralegal

Someone working as a paralegal has obtained an associate’s degree or certification in the specialization to work within the legal environment. Paralegals can prepare affidavits, compose legal correspondences and assist lawyers in preparing for a trial. They may also be skilled in electronic filing systems.

A paralegal may prepare contracts, wills, and other legal documents. Sometimes paralegals specialize in one specific area, such as real estate or family law.

Legal Assistant

Sometimes this title is given to paralegals or even administrative assistants, but a legal assistant is somewhere in the middle. Occasionally they are referred to as a legal secretary. A legal assistant is someone who handles the office functions of the lawyer or firm.

They are not trained to handle legal documents but intended to do things like scheduling, letter writing, and other general administrative tasks.

What Are the Requirements?

To become a paralegal, you’ll need to obtain a certificate or associates degree at an accredited school either online or in person. Legal assistants can have a more general administrative background.

Experience may also play a part. Many paralegal roles require three to five years of experience. Some people with a paralegal certification will begin their career as a legal assistant to gain the experience working in a law firm.

Finding a Job

If you’re looking for a position within the legal field but not as a lawyer, the best thing you can do is apply with a staffing agency specializing in legal placements. They can help you find new opportunities that may not be listed publicly.

Regardless of the type of legal job you want, if you’re just getting starting, be willing to start at the bottom. You’ll quickly gain the experience you need to advance your career.

FInd the Right Legal Jobs in Washington DC for You

Do you want to work in the legal industry? Contact NRI Staffing today to learn more about working with a top legal staffing agency in D,C.


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