A GUIDE TO THE ROLE OF A PARALEGAL FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS STUDYING A LAW DEGREE IN THE US

Law is another one of the most popular and sought-after career pathways for graduates to take after finishing university. Although it is a career that is very rewarding and gives you the opportunity to earn a high salary, it does also require a specific skill set and commitment to be successful. It is also a job that you will need to train and work towards for several years, which may sound discouraging but will be worth it in the end!

A career in law has many benefits that other jobs may not have. It is a career path that leaves a lot of options and is broad in the various roles available in it. But apart from the career benefits, there are so many great things about doing law! For example, you can make a real difference in other people’s lives, and directly make an impact on issues in society like discrimination and human rights. You’ll be helping other people too, and have your work help those who don’t have your skills.

Not to mention, with a law degree, international students will gain the experience and qualifications that enable them to boost their employability when looking for jobs in the US. The skills you develop mean that you can interpret and analyse information, and develop logical thinking and communication competently and with self-assurance.  This article will be focused on the role of a paralegal, their earning potential, and the recommended employers to help you get there after your degree.

THE ROLE OF A PARALEGAL

A paralegal is someone who completes legal activities and services like research, handling documents and offering guidance. You could work in several places, such as in the private or public sector, in charities or for a law firm. This is also another one of those jobs where you can have a different name depending on where you work. A paralegal can also be called a legal secretary, legal assistant, caseworker, or compliance officer. 

Being a paralegal means you can choose your area of specialisation; most careers in law are very broad so specialising in one area is the norm. These areas may include consumer law, crime, personal injury, wills, employment law, and business law.  

As a paralegal, you’ll be expected to take witness statements, file documents, network, conduct research, answer queries, and carry out office administration.  

ULTIMATE EARNING POTENTIAL FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS IN THE US

Position in Career  Associated Salary (US)  
Junior 
 Becoming a paralegal does not require any degree, but good academic results will certainly boost your resume for employers. You must earn your certification or do a formal training course. Most importantly, don’t forget that you can start your career as an entry-level worker and gain experience and training on the job. Most employers do consider personal characteristics and work experience more than qualifications in this case.  
$35,000 
Qualified  
A qualified paralegal is usually considered someone with at least five years of experience. They have higher earnings and can work in larger places and small firms. Your salary will depend on your location, your level of experience and the size of the company you work for.  
$50,000 
Experienced  
Experienced paralegals have many years of experience that make them very efficient and comfortable in their jobs. They also typically start out with legal or paralegal training and gain qualifications on the way. This includes postgraduate courses too.  
$73,000 

TOP 10 EMPLOYERS  

  1. Oregon Law Center 
  2. Husch Blackwell 
  3. Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost LLP 
  4. Iowa Legal Aid 
  5. Sullivan & Cromwell 
  6. Ogletree Deakins 
  7. Root & Rebound 
  8. CrowdStrike 
  9. Sotheby’s 
  10. World Relief Corporation 

There are obviously more roles you can take on as well with a law degree in the US, so don’t worry if you change your mind about a career path as a lawyer. Employers will nearly always consider any international graduate with a degree and appropriate skills that they develop from it.


If you are considering studying abroad why don’t you discuss your prospects and opportunities with experts at Lurnable’s dedicated study abroad counselling division LurnPathways?




If you are considering studying abroad why don’t you discuss your prospects and opportunities with experts at Lurnable’s dedicated study abroad counselling division LurnPathways?


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