With the increasing complexity of the practice of law and the possibilities that exist with current technology, paralegals can become an integral part of any legal service team. The first step in the paralegal career is to find out which part of the law appeals to you the most. Since paralegal education requires a substantial commitment of time, effort and money, the decision about which type of paralegal to become should be made with as much information and care as possible. This article will cover civil litigation law, duties of a civil litigation paralegal, salary, education and certification.
All types of paralegals earn a reasonably good income. While an individual's salary may depend upon on their education level, hands-on experience and speciality, the average wage for all paralegals in 2010 was around $47K per annum according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The average civil litigation salary across the US currently stands at $51,396 according to Payscale.com , highest wages in litigation are around $70K+ figure plus bonuses.
It’s hard to deny that this compensation is not appealing for a profession that requires very little education to start with. Civil litigation paralegal education options include a paralegal associate degree or obtaining a bachelor's degree from one of the many accredited paralegal training schools.
Litigation: is the process of using the courts to resolve disputes regarding an individual's rights and responsibilities. Litigation is called "civil" when it is prosecuted under civil law, rather than criminal law. Whilst criminal litigation deals with violations of the laws of society, civil litigation deals with non-criminal disputes. An example of a civil litigation case - "breaching of a contract" -a very common cause of lawsuits particularly among corporations.
Litigation paralegals is one of the specialized areas currently in demand. Skills you need to possess for this speciality
- Ability to do research either in a library or online.
- Excellent written and oral communication skills.
- Proficiency in computer programs, including MS Word, Excel, Outlook.
Ability to communicate effectively with individuals at all levels of the organization, and with legal authorities and other parties outside the organization.
- Possesses highest personal integrity and able to establish and maintain credibility and trust.
- Working knowledge of applicable laws and regulations.
- Discreet; be able to protect confidential information.
- Able to quickly assimilate and integrate information relating to complex issues.
Litigation Paralegal Job Duties
- Drafting legal correspondence
- Perform research
- Schedule meetings
- Assisting the attorney with face to face meetings
- Analyze pleadings
- Attend meetings when the attorney is unavailable
- Be the point of contact for clients
- Trial preparation
- Other duties as assigned
Required Education and Training
In order to obtain the best litigation paralegal job after graduation, you may want to obtain your paralegal education through an American Bar Association (ABA) approved program. Start with either:
- Associate’s degree from an accredited college or university in paralegal studies, OR
- a Bachelor’s degree paired with a certificate in paralegal studies.