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While working in a law office or large firm, paralegals assist attorneys in a variety of legal tasks dependent on the area of practice. Paralegal duties can include preparation and filing of legal documents, researching case law and formulating arguments and assisting in trial preparation. Paralegals serve as instrumental members of legal teams in civil, criminal, family, bankruptcy, personal injury and estate planning areas of practice. Paralegals may not provide legal services except as permitted by law.


Careers in the Paralegal Field

Most businesses and corporations have a legal department in which paralegals serve as vital components of the daily operations of banks, insurance agencies, hospital and federal administrations. Paralegals are expected to be adept in time management skills, attention to detail, effective communication and organization of complex tasks while working as part of a team. The skills involved in paralegal work demand experience with word processing programs, specialized research software and maintenance of records.

By 2029, employment of paralegals is expected to grow by 10% according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. While most paralegals have a certificate or associate’s degree, a Bachelor of Science in paralegal studies from SIU sets a potential employee apart from other applicants. With a median income of $51,740 annually, a degree in paralegal studies provides graduates with an advanced level of education and the possibility of greater earning potential and professional opportunities.