“Being a good paralegal is 3% talent and 97% not being distracted by the Internet,” one meme said. It’s a jest only legal assistants would understand. It paints a picture of how things are done now.
Paralegals have seen the profession change (for the better) over the past decades. The work of paralegals has become more relevant, giving the career its rightful prestige. The pay is catching up, and so are the opportunities to take leadership roles in the law offices, independent firms, and even corporations.
As a modern-day legal assistant, the Internet is your classroom; your apartment is your school. You choose from tons of programs right at your fingertips. Regardless of your chosen paralegal degree online, the format of your course is entirely up to you. This gives you the flexibility and convenience to learn, your way.
Working a 9-to-5 shift is so yesterday. Even if you’d still have to meet with your colleagues occasionally, you can do most of your work at home. Unlike before, you have to familiarize yourself with a variety of computer software.
Tech-savviness is no longer just a luxury, but an absolute necessity. Mastering e-Discovery (among other programs) is expected to be a part of your technological skills to excel and succeed as a paralegal.
Independent or Contractual Services
Freelancing has gone from a trend to a norm. As the public continues to require assistance in preparing legal documents, the need for independent paralegals continues to grow. On the other hand, as more and more attorneys embrace outsourcing, the demand for legal assistants working on an as-needed basis never weakens.
You may have to wear more hats as a 21st century paralegal compared with your counterpart a few decades ago, but it only means the industry is giving the profession more value. As the modern world keeps evolving, paralegals go with the flow.