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Paralegal

What can I do in paralegal?

Paralegals, also called legal assistants, work closely with lawyers – often performing many of the same tasks as lawyers, but always under the supervision of a lawyer. They are explicitly prohibited from carrying out duties considered to be the practice of law such as giving legal advice, setting legal fees and presenting cases in court. Paralegals conduct research, write reports, and draft contracts and other official documents.

What characteristics and skills do I need to work in this field?

Paralegals need to be detail-oriented and should have good organizational skills. They should enjoy the challenge of continually learning new things. Paralegals also must be able to work well under pressure, be conscientious about meeting deadlines and have good computer skills.

Where can I work?

Paralegals work in traditional law offices, state and federal government, legal departments of hospital and health care organizations, colleges, insurance companies, banks and other corporations, and many other legal and law-related entities.

Most paralegals do the majority of their work in offices and law libraries, but they occasionally travel for research or other tasks. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, paralegals who work for corporations or government agencies usually work a standard 40-hour week, but those who work for law firms are sometimes called upon to put in extra hours when deadlines loom.

What does Trident Technical College offer?

The Paralegal program at Trident Technical College provides students with the knowledge, skill and understanding of legal ethics necessary to work under the supervision of attorneys to assist in the delivery of legal services. The program has been approved by the American Bar Association since 1993.

UNAUTHORIZED PRACTICE OF LAW (UPL) STATEMENT: Paralegals work under the supervision of a licensed attorney and are not authorized to practice law in South Carolina (S.C. Code Ann. § 40-5-310 (1976)).

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