Have you thought about a career as a litigation support specialist? Paralegals and legal support professionals handle a lot of the day to day tasks to support lawyers such as maintaining files, legal research, and writing documents. If you want to follow this career path, what do you need in terms of education and skills? Here are some things to consider.
There are multiple ways you can get the education you need to become a support specialist in the legal industry. You can go to community college to become a paralegal and get an associate’s degree. Bachelor’s degrees are also sought after by employers.
There are few bachelor’s programs in paralegal and related studies, so getting your degree in another subject and earning a certificate as a paralegal is a common strategy. In your education, you want to focus on legal writing, legal research, and the technology used in the law. But some firms will hire someone without any legal experience if their background is transferable.
Some of the skills you need to bring to the table to work in litigation support include:
- Communication skills: this covers written communication, talking over the phone, and composing digital communications like emails and texts.
- Interpersonal skills: you also need to be able to interact with many different kinds of people at all levels. The lawyers you’re supporting, other lawyers, and clients.
- Computer skills: Today’s legal industry is very reliant on technology. It’s important that you understand how to get around a computer.
- Organizational skills: The law is all about procedure and process, so it’s essential that any support staff be extremely organized with both office space and time.
- Research skills: Much of what you’ll be doing as a legal assistant will be research. You need to be able to dig deep into any subject.
It can be frustrating to see what should be entry-level positions requiring specific experience levels. How can you have worked in a law firm if this is your first law firm job? But there are ways around this. Many paralegal programs offer internships. Or you could work in another capacity. There are some forms of experience that are transferable as well, such as working in a corporate office or accounting firm.
Are you looking for a job as a litigation support specialist?
NRI Legal Staffing in DC can help place you in a great career in litigation support or other legal support roles.