Legal Studies Degree & Online Programs
As law firms and other legal services are trying to cut costs, employment opportunities for paralegals and legal assistants are increasing and their responsibilities are growing. Legal and paralegal assistants are now expected to provide basic legal services to clients, along with their usual duties. Typically, a legal aide gathers research information for lawyers and contributes in the preparation of legal documents and judicial cases; sometimes, paralegals and legal assistants can also provide low-priced legal services to clients that cannot afford lawyer advice. Legal and paralegal services entail a lot of client interaction and in order to become a legal or paralegal aide you will need to show strong interpersonal and communications skills, as well as, some computer and research experience.
Legal and Paralegal Studies
In order to advance in a Legal Services career, most employers strongly encourage their assistants to earn at least an Associate's degree in Legal, Paralegal Studies or a related field. If you already have a bachelor's degree you can fulfill this requirement by completing an online degree, in order to have a certification. If you are particularly interested in a police-related field, consider an associate's degree in Criminal Justice or a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice.
Professional legal and paralegal assistants earn about $46,120. However, depending on education, training, experience and type of employer, the wages of paralegals and legal aides can vary significantly, from $29,260 up to $73,450 (source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2008 data).