Paralegals, or legal assistants, help lawyers in their work. They perform some of the same tasks as lawyers. Paralegals investigate cases to make sure that lawyers know all of the important facts.
Paralegals also do legal research. They look up laws and past cases in books and on computers. Then, they write reports that lawyers use to help prepare their cases. They also keep track of the documents related to the case.
What paralegals do depends on where they work. For example, some paralegals help to write contracts and mortgages. Some help to prepare income tax returns and other financial documents.
Paralegals need good research and writing skills. They should also be able to use computers. Paralegals often deal with the public, so they should be polite. They also have to be honest and ethical.
To start getting ready for this job, students can take English classes to learn how to write and do research. Social studies classes teach about research and the law. People who want to be paralegals need strong reading skills.
Eastern Gateway Community College's Student Success Plan/Assessment is available for view in PDF format.
This information is presented as a general program overview. Students are advised to follow the more detailed college catalog for program requirements.