Public Service Paralegal and Legal Assistant
Salary Range Jobs Available
$38,200 - $89,000 44,900+

What Does a Paralegal Do?

Ever wondered if there’s a way to work in the field of law without going to law school? A paralegal is an in-demand job that provides just such an opportunity.

Paralegals, also called legal assistants, organize legal documents, gather information about cases and assist lawyers during trials and hearings. Their detailed research and strong organizational skills help attorneys prepare for trial.

Their skills are needed in all areas of law, from personal injury to corporate law, and many paralegals specialize. Most paralegals work for law firms and government agencies. The smaller the law office, the more varied a paralegal’s daily routine is likely to be. In bigger offices, paralegals are more likely to specialize. 

If you like digging into the details, this is a promising career with plenty of job growth expected. Sound like a good fit for you? Keep reading to learn more.  

A paralegal or legal assistant does research for lawyers
You won’t find a paralegal’s name on the company sign, but these researchers are an indispensable part of any law firm. (Credit: Mangostar/Shutterstock)


  • Conduct client interviews 
  • Locate and interview witnesses
  • Do research and track down information
  • Draft legal documents
  • Get affidavits and other formal statements that may be used as evidence in court
  • Summarize depositions and testimony
  • Attend legal hearings
  • File exhibits, briefs, appeals and other legal documents with the court or opposing counsel
  • Organize and maintain documents in paper or electronic filing systems, often using specific legal software 

How To Become a Paralegal: FAQs

The bottom line:

For a studious, detail-oriented person, this is a job that offers a solid salary without earning a bachelor’s degree. It’s also a career that puts you in an engaging environment with room to grow — if you're willing to work hard. If this sounds interesting to you, check out SkillPointe’s training listings below. 

Mary Brown, paralegal

What is it like to be a paralegal?

Curiosity is the key to Mary Brown’s success as a paralegal. She started at a law firm in an administrative position and she’s now a senior litigation paralegal.

"Leaving my old industry and taking a chance for something completely new has been one of the best, most fruitful decisions I’ve ever made," she says.

If you're curious by nature and think you might be a good fit for this career, read more about what she has to say about being a paralegal.

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