What Can I Do with a Master's Degree in Paralegal Studies?

A master's degree in paralegal studies provides the knowledge and ability to work as a paralegal, also called a legal assistant. Read on to learn more about the education, required skills and job outlook for these professionals. Schools offering Paralegal degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Job Description

A paralegal or legal assistant works closely with an attorney to prepare for closings, hearings, trials and corporate meetings. A paralegal must have a strong grasp of the law and any material that is relevant to an assigned case. He or she analyzes and organizes information and prepares written reports for attorneys to use in preparing a case.

Master's Degree in Paralegal Studies

Although a master's degree is not required to work as a paralegal, earning one in paralegal studies prepares students for careers that require a strong understanding of the law and how it interacts with societal institutions. A graduate holding a master's degree in paralegal studies has the skills to access the law and legal systems, understands legal terminology and can apply the law in various settings. Graduates holding a master's degree have a strong grasp of legal concepts and of the legal system overall.

Job Skills

Paralegals should be good at interacting with people, such as lawyers, witnesses and clients. They should also have good research and computer skills. Organization and planning are also important in this field.

Career Statistics

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median yearly salary in May of 2012 for a paralegal or a legal assistant was $46,990. The BLS also predicted that these professionals should see an 18% increase in employment opportunities, which is about as fast as average when compared to other careers, from 2010 to 2020 (www.bls.gov).

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