Last updated January 01, 2015

Every profession, it seems, is seeking to cut the cost of doing business. One way that's done is to rely more heavily on those with less schooling, who therefore command lower salaries. The legal field is no different.

Paralegals will be in demand in the years ahead. They can do much of what lawyers do -- and they cost less. But although paralegals will shoulder more responsibility, certain activities will still be reserved for lawyers, such as giving legal advice.

Paralegals help lawyers and prepare legal materials for activities such as hearings, trials, and corporate meetings.

Did You Know?

Paralegals are also called legal assistants.

Are You Ready To...?

  • Help draft contracts and other legal documents
  • Research information that lawyers use to make decisions
  • Write clearly about complex issues
  • Keep track of details
  • Keep up with changes in the law
  • Work in offices and law libraries
  • Work on your own and in teams
  • Use computers

It Helps To Be...

Someone who enjoys doing research and writing up the results. You'll need good organization and communication skills. Finally, you’ll need to be highly ethical.

Make High School Count

  • Practice being organized about your own paperwork such as classroom handouts and assignments.
  • Make the most of classes that require you to read, research, and write.
  • Take computer classes and build skills in word processing, spreadsheets, and Internet research.
  • Read the news to keep up with legal issues.
  • Intern with or work for a law firm. Talk to the paralegals who work there about their careers.

Did You Know?

Becoming an expert in a hot field such as intellectual property or real estate law will increase your chances of getting a good job.