Getting on the right track to finding a career that fits your personality, as well as your personal and financial needs, can sometimes present a plethora of ideas and options. Jumping from one job to another and living paycheck to paycheck is not how most of us want to live out our lives.
Most of us would rather find that one career that can provide a sense of meaning to our lives along with the financial security that will take us through to retirement. While many career options exist throughout this country and the metropolitan New York City area, perhaps you may have overlooked becoming a paralegal.
One thing that holds true is that job growth for paralegals is expected to grow by nearly 17% over the next four to five years. Litigation in the U.S. is not slowing down anytime soon. Finding paralegal schools in NYC is a great way to explore this career opportunity.
What is a Paralegal?
You may be asking yourself–what is a paralegal? What do they do? Maybe you have a general idea, but you’re not entirely sure of all the tasks a paralegal performs.
A paralegal executes a broad range of assignments to support lawyers. Lawyers rely heavily on paralegals to work meticulously with them on their caseloads. They provide a valued and outstanding service working alongside attorneys and their clients. The services paralegals typically perform for lawyers include:
- Questioning clients and witnesses.
- Conducting legal research from existing case law, statutes and legal publications.
- The preparation of court papers and writing legal correspondence, such as contracts or wills.
- The filing of legal documents with the courts.
- Gathering pertinent evidence for presentation as exhibits in court.
- Assisting attorneys in investigations to obtain facts.
- Supporting attorneys during depositions and court hearings.
- Keeping important documents filed in paper and electronic formats.
Paralegals help lawyers prepare for trials, hearings and depositions. Due to increasing workloads and complexities once performed mostly by lawyers, a need was created for a specialized occupation to lessen the day-to-day workload, so attorneys can be free to do what they do best—litigate.
Finding the Right Paralegal Schools in NYC
If you find that you are interested in becoming a paralegal, what steps should you take to find the right paralegal schools in NYC that fit your educational needs? Finding the right school is also paramount in matching your personal needs, such as balancing a current job with school commitments.
Thus, finding a school with the flexibility to offer course selections that you can work around can be every bit as important your education.
Researching Paralegal Schools in NYC
What steps should you take to find paralegal schools in NYC that work for you? There can be many factors to this equation, and it will be different for each prospective student. Here are some potential questions you may want to ask yourself:
- What schools are convenient to where I live?
- Does the school offer a broad range of course selections that fit my interest in the legal field?
- Are there internships available to help me attain a quality experience with local professionals?
- What is the rate of post educational employment for the school?
- How much will a quality program cost?
- Is financial aid available?
These are just a few questions you may want to consider when searching for paralegal schools in NYC. You may want to write out your list of qualifications that you think pertain to your personal situation and goals.
It is important that you don’t just jump into the first school that you think works for you. Expand your investigation of what the school offers regarding assistance and amenities.
Contact each school on your list and schedule a campus visit. All schools of higher education offer campus tours and give presentations about what their schools have to offer. Any school that does not offer or have campus visits should be met with suspicion.
Remember, just because the school looks good on paper doesn’t mean it’s the school to choose. When taking a campus tour, take the time to visit with current students. Ask pertinent questions about their experience on campus. Ask these students about both their positive and negative experiences. Look for patterns in what they tell you.
Financial aid is an important aspect of education. The cost of an education is a hot topic these days, and knowing what to expect in future costs is vital.
Talk with an admissions advisor when touring the campus. Ask what, if any, school scholarships or grants might be available. Always keep in your mind how you can reduce the cost of your education.
Start Your Search Today
Once you’ve set yourself on the path to becoming a paralegal, you will hopefully find the path to getting there to be a rewarding experience. The world of the legal profession is expanding, and career opportunities abound.
Finding the right paralegal schools in NYC is just the beginning. Pursuing this career path will be a journey worth taking if being a part of the legal profession is your passion and goal.