A good paralegal is essential to any legal team. They are responsible for preparing cases, researching, and other related tasks. A wise attorney knows when a paralegal is an asset to the company or not. But what does it take to be a good paralegal? First off, you should pursue a paralegal degree from your NYC location if you’re interested. For others, here are some qualities that make you a gem in the legal department.
Several skills are important in creating a colorful paralegal career. Lucky you if you consistently got good grades in writing when you were still studying as this will come in handy. This job requires you to write daily. You must be good in sentence construction, grammar and punctuation, and other relevant facts in writing.
Working as a paralegal will keep you busy. You will handle a lot of things like e-documents, law books, citations, reports, paperwork, manuals, fingerprints, photos, etc. You’re working with cases so it involves a lot of data. That said, you should apply some organizational skills on the job. Keep everything in their proper places and make back-up files as you don’t want to get lost in the mounts of work you need to do.
Go to work early and avoid being absent. Your bosses rely on you because you do all the preparations of cases for them. They need you to be present so that they can contact you anytime they have to ask something about their cases. Of course, people get sick or need to be absent or late for some reason. When this happens, make sure you give proper notice.
You can’t afford to be negligent as a paralegal. You handle all the details of the cases and often, it’s you who’s more aware of the small things that can affect the case. Be observant and do your best to keep track of all the cases you’re handling.
Having impressive computer skills can help you in the job. These days, everything is done through a computer and the Internet. You can file a court case online and send applications through a computer like updating legal software, electronic management systems, and task management systems. Not having any computer skills highly affects your chance to get hired.
Multi-tasking is also something you can do. A legal company is a busy workplace and having this skill allows you to keep up. For example, you have three bosses and they are working on different cases. You’re required to do all tasks regarding those cases. That’s a lot to handle but you have to find a way to do those tasks and do more if you need to.
How to be Good at It?
You must have good communication, networking, and people skills to be good at this. This is a chaotic world that you have to glide through. At any given day, your job will have you talking to numerous people from all walks of life. Know how to talk to people especially when you’re asking for a favor. Build connections by being trustworthy and efficient.
Lastly, you should be a perfectionist in a way and have an outstanding sense of professionalism. One small mistake and your boss can lose the case. If it’s on you, then you need to be ready for the consequences. Perfectionism is a must if you want to keep your bosses happy. On the other hand, a professional paralegal is someone who shows it in all the aspects of their being. Dress professionally, speak professionally, and act like a true professional.
Being a paralegal is a profession for someone serious with their careers. It’s a profession for go-getters and achievers. Getting a paralegal degree is a stepping stone to become one. With that, choose to master these skills and qualities so that you can be a great paralegal.