What Makes a Good Paralegal?
You’re interested in helping people. You like to keep up with current events. You’re a good listener, writer, and reader. Maybe you’ve already considered entering the field of law, but if not – you should. And if you have some of the qualities of a successful paralegal it might be an easy transition. At this point you are probably wondering, what qualities does a paralegal have? Read these possible characteristics of a paralegal and find out what it might take to excel in the paralegal field.
Being an Excellent Listener
It might sound simple but it can be an important part of a paralegal job. Awareness of the case and what the attorneys expect from you is paramount to success. You’ll also be asked to sit in on meetings with clients, judges, and more and you’ll need to take exceptional notes on the proceedings and what’s being said.
The best paralegals are on a constant mission to enhance their knowledge and skills. They’re also dedicated to their work. Whether that means a few long days at the office, or doing some extra work to help out the attorney, they’ll do it with a smile on their face.
Attention to detail can be an important component to the success of a paralegal. Often the key to breaking and winning a case is something small that can be easily missed. With that in mind, paying attention to detail is extremely important. Someone who is detail-oriented who can pay attention to the smallest details when preparing legal documents might do well. Law, by its nature, is very detail-oriented and those that work in law must be as well.
Possessing Great Intuition
This is one thing that sets a good paralegal apart from a great paralegal. A great paralegal has the intuition to read people, clients, judges, and attorneys to add insight into a case or anticipate the attorneys’ needs before they ever ask. This is a quality that all lawyers value highly and by having this, you’ll solidify yourself as a huge asset to the team.
Assisting with Case Prep
Paralegal often serve as a second pair of eyes to help the attorney ensure all of their bases are covered when preparing for a case. This could include helping to gather and organize evidence to taking notes during the trial.
Passion for Law
Are you passionate about a specific field of law such as personal injury, criminal law, bankruptcy, family law, or the legal field in general? In anything you do, passion is what makes you great. If you’re passionate about the law and believe in your work, it will show and you’ll be respected more for it.
Excellent Research and Writing Skills
This profession requires daily doses of both research and writing. In fact, you’ll most likely spend most of your time doing these, so it’s important that you do them well. Many paralegals often serve as the fact-checker on behalf of the very busy attorney. This might include conducting research for cases and writing reports on the findings for the attorney.
Some careers need a bit more patience than others. This is one of them. You may come across a not-so-pleasant client, or find yourself buried under books in the law library for hours, but the satisfaction that comes with discovering the truth and helping people is all worth it in the end. Just have some patience and faith.
Ready to Start a Career as a Paralegal?
Do you have all of these qualities and want to make the most of them? If so, check out Fremont College of Legal Studies and gain the knowledge you need to make your skills stand out. Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.