Career Day in the Life: Paralegal

Many people are aware that paralegals work alongside attorneys. Yet fewer people know what paralegals actually do all day. Some people assume paralegals answer phones and fetch coffee, while others think paralegals are law students or lawyers in training.

In fact, neither view of paralegals is correct. The paralegal career is a professional trajectory of its own – and many law firms consider their paralegals indispensable. Here, we’ll explore a typical career day in the life of a paralegal.

What do paralegals do all day?

The name “paralegal” combines the prefix “para-,” meaning alongside, and the word “legal.” Paralegals work alongside attorneys. They handle a wide range of tasks, freeing up attorneys to focus on the practice of law.

Tasks a paralegal might do in an average day include:


Paralegals often have a deep knowledge of court rules and regulatory requirements. They also tend to know exactly how their office runs.

What experience or education do I need to become a paralegal?

Paralegals typically have a bachelor’s degree, often in business management or a law-related field. Degrees in English or communications are often common among paralegals.

Paralegal certification programs can train paralegals in the specific skills required for the job. Not all employers require certification, although many prefer it.

Skill using office software like Microsoft Word, Excel, and Outlook, as well as using research databases like Westlaw, is essential. Fluency in multiple languages is often a plus.

What does a career path as a paralegal look like?

Most paralegals do not aspire to become lawyers. In some states, however, paralegals can represent clients in limited matters if they have the right training and credentials.

Paralegals may also work toward positions that offer higher responsibilities and pay. For instance, many paralegals eventually reach positions in which they manage other paralegals and legal support staff.


Considering a career as a paralegal or looking for the next step on your career ladder?

Connect with the team at Avata Partners today. Our recruiters specialize in connecting paralegals to some of the best law firms and paralegal positions available today. Reach out to us to learn more!