How to Obtain Part-Time Paralegal Experience
So you want to become a paralegal. You must learn how to strategically market yourself. With extensive legal experience, you may already possess the quintessential qualifications employers seek in a prospective paralegal.
Remember, not all firms require paralegal certification to perform paralegal work. In almost every state jurisdiction, excluding California, paralegals require no specific educational certification, for employment. However, necessary knowledge and/or previous experience remain a sure prerequisite.
Consider law courses. Paralegal experience first requires an appreciation of legal assignments, which assumes educational interest. If you attend a university or community college that offers an introductory legal curriculum, take several law courses, assuming accessibility, to assess your interests, expand knowledge, and facilitate critical analysis.
Sharpen your mental faculties. If such resources remain unavailable, you may consider self- education, by engaging various intellectual activities. Prepare your mind in endeavors that challenge your ability to consistently read, write, and analyze complex material.
Pursue an internship. Internships, volunteer positions that offer minimal or no compensation, provide an invaluable opportunity to cultivate tangible experience. As an intern, you learn the real-world application of legal information. If you possess some legal education, an internship, you may learn to harness your acquired academic knowledge for practical purposes in the professional environment. Internships tend to facilitate additional experience. With additional experience, you likely become a seasoned, more marketable paralegal.
Network yourself. To pursue an internship, you must possess connections. Contact professors, lawyers, family, and/or other influential persons who may help you attain a legal internship.
Additionally, find a reputable job network. If you attended a university or community college, try to establish relations with your career services department. Career networks provide immediate access, connecting them directly with the appropriate employer, to fulfill professional objectives.
Continuously update resume to reflect vocational experience. Your resume remains the gateway of access to landing a quality part-time paralegal position. It must accurately assess your professional history and feature you in the most favorable manner possible.
Learn the basics of resume writing. An effective resume outlines your accomplishments in the most simple, succinct manner possible. Always abbreviate in outline form. Use active verbs to distinguish your writing proficiency.
Maximize occupational opportunities by sending your resume to many employers. Each resume application increases the possibility of potential employment
Seek career advisement. If possible, visit a career network department to help refine your resume. They may teach you the fundamentals of writing a dynamic resume that attracts employers.
Use the networks as outlined in aforementioned section to achieve a part-time paralegal position. Employers want to see that you actually possess the experience you cultivated through education and internships.
Use career advisers to refine career goals. They provide instruction designed to properly target law firms or companies seeking part-time paralegals. Distribute your resume only among firms which you reasonably expect to enhance paralegal experience.
If attending law school, emphasize your anticipated career trajectory. Law schools generally permit students to only work part-time, offering the ideal conditions for attaining part-time paralegal experience. After all, law firms tend to prefer law students, aspiring attorneys who possess the intellect, reasoning, knowledge, and experience, as part-time paralegals. If you expect to attend law school, reveal your motivation. Also, accentuate the need for financial support. Law firms understand the logistics of law school expenses. It shows your willingness, an incentive to accept part-time work, while simultaneously acquiring invaluable legal skills, deemed resourceful for subsequent success in law.