Careers in law and paralegal have always been popular, as many individuals are attracted to the fast-paced and exciting criminal justice system. Lawyers or attorneys work for clients, either as defendants or prosecutors, and help make a case before judges and juries to help them avoid legal trouble or achieve a settlement. Lawyers may also help individuals or companies draw up and manage contracts or handle civil cases. Other lawyers work for the government, helping shape the law.
Paralegals are not lawyers, but are commonly seen as law assistants. They work mostly in private law offices, helping lawyers complete various tasks by conducting research, writing legal briefs, presenting their findings, manging files and paperwork, and handling schedules or other clerical tasks. Lawyers must hold law degrees from accredited schools, which generally take three years to complete. Prior to that, they must complete a bachelor's degree.
Law graduates have experienced some difficulty in the job market in recent years because job growth has not kept up with the number of graduates. Paralegals, on the other hand, have grown in popularity because more firms are realizing that they can hire fewer lawyers and delegate more tasks to the cost-effective paralegals. Both lawyers and paralegals must be able to work quickly in a hectic environment, communicate well in both written and verbal form, and present themselves in a professional manner.
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