Students who graduate with a bachelor's degree in Paralegal Studies are prepared for a variety of careers. We list the following types of services to illustrate the wide range of possibilities that exist. Please note that the following are not academic majors; rather, they are career paths that Paralegal Studies students may choose to pursue upon graduation.
Administrative Law - Paralegals who work in this area could handle questions and complaints from citizens, draft proposed regulations for agencies, perform legal research, provide litigation assistance within agencies and in courts, and conduct investigations.
Banking Law - Paralegals could work in a law firm's trust department or in a bank's legal department, assist legal staff in assessing a bank's liability for various claims, assure the bank's compliance with applicable regulations and statutes, monitor activities of the various banking regulatory agencies, and assist attorneys in litigating claims.
Bankruptcy Law - Paralegals who work in this area may be employed by a law firm or a creditor. Paralegals may interview clients and collect data, investigate open bankruptcy files, confirm amounts of indebtedness, verify taxes owed, answer inquiries of creditors, request documentation from creditors, or draft bankruptcy petitions.
Civil Rights Law - Paralegals who work for the government may help identify and resolve discrimination complaints made by government employees against the government and help attorneys litigate discrimination complaints. Paralegals who work for law firms may assist law firms representing citizens with their discrimination complaints.
Collections Law - Paralegals may prepare debtor inventory, conduct asset checks, verify filings at the secretary of state's office, verify information in probate court, contact the credit bureau, draft pleadings, assist in the settlement or negotiation of claim, and assist in enforcement work such as wage attachment or seizure of property.
Construction Law - Paralegals may work with engineering consultants, collect data, prepare graphs, special studies, or documents for negotiations/settlement, and assist in drafting arbitration claims forms.
Contracts Law - Paralegals may review contracts to determine compliance with their terms, investigate facts involving alleged breach of contracts, perform legal research, and draft contracts.
Corporate Law - Paralegals may check for the availability of a proposed corporate name, record articles of incorporation, draft articles of incorporation, close corporations, draft minutes of initial meetings of incorporators and directors, draft corporate bylaws, prepare documents to open a corporate bank account, draft and prepare general documents such as shareholder agreements, conduct research, assemble financial data from records, and coordinate escrow transactions.
Criminal Justice/Probation and Corrections - Individuals who work in probation supervise offenders who have been released from prison on parole or probation. They also conduct pretrial investigations, arrange for substance abuse treatment and job training, write presenting reports for the court, make sentencing recommendations and testify in court for their clients.
Individuals who work in corrections works in either jails and prisons or in parole and probation agencies. They write and evaluate treatment plans, write case reports, and plan educational and training programs.
Criminal Law - Paralegals who work for prosecutors may act as liaisons with the police department and other law enforcement agencies, interview citizens who are seeking to prosecute alleged wrongdoers, conduct investigations, and help maintain case calendars. Paralegals who work with defense attorneys may interview defendants on matters relevant to criminal charges, gather information relevant to the determination of bail, interview witnesses, and assist with discovery during trials.
Environmental Law - Paralegals may research questions pertaining to the environment, land use, water pollution, and the National Environmental Policy Act, develop research notebooks for future reference, draft memoranda regarding new federal and state laws, draft memoranda regarding pertinent issues, problems, and solutions regarding public policy developments, draft and edit articles on coastal management programs and problems, and assist the preparation of briefs.
Estates and Trust Law - Paralegals may collect data for estate planning, draft preliminary wills and trusts, perform investment analysis for the attorney, manage accounting aspects of trust and estate administration, open, index, monitor, and keep current all components of the office files on clients' trusts and estates. They may assist in the valuation of assets, record and file wills and trusts, notify beneficiaries, prepare preliminary draft of federal and state death tax returns, prepare accounting, draw checks for the signature of executors, calculate distributable net income, perform legal research, prepare sample pleadings, conduct factual research, and assist with litigation.
Family Law - Paralegals may interview clients, prepare initial pleadings, draft correspondence, arrange for service of process, prepare motions, draft notices and set hearings, assist in settlement negotiations, help clients gather and compile financial information, work with accountants, financial advisors, or brokers retained by client, retain appraisers, prepare discovery requests, prepare response to discovery requests, organize, index, and summarize discovery materials, perform legal research, assist in drafting separation agreements, assist in preparation of trial exhibits, arrange for expert witnesses and prepare decrees.
Immigration Law - Paralegals may help individuals with difficulty obtaining visas, permanent residency, nonimmigrant status, citizenship status, assist individuals in filling out visas and permanent residency applications, and assist individuals who are faced with deportation proceedings.
Intellectual Property Law - Paralegals who work in this area work on copyrights, patents and trademarks. Paralegals help clients apply for registration of copyright for a novel, play or other work, help identify the classification for the copyright, identify potential users/licenses of the copyright, help prepare contracts, help inventors apply for patent, conduct patent search, help inventors describe their inventions, help identify licensees, research trademark files, conduct investigations to determine when the mark was first used.
Labor and Employment Law - Paralegals who work in this area may do investigation, assist companies in the design and implementation of policies, and assist in litigation.
Litigation (Civil) - Paralegals who work in this area monitor files, perform investigations, draft interrogatories, draft answers to interrogatories, draft deposition questions, prepare witnesses for deposition, prepare witnesses for depositions, draft requests for production of documents, draft answers to requests for production of documents, index and digest discovery data, arrange for clients and others to be interviewed, arrange for expert witnesses to appear in court or a deposition, help organize trail notebooks, take notes at counsel's table at trial, perform legal research, shepardize cited authority, perform cite checks, and draft preliminary memos and briefs.
Pro Bono Work - Pro bono refers to services provided to another person at no charge. Law firms often give attorneys time off to take pro bono cases. Paralegals are also encouraged to perform pro bono work. Attorneys and paralegals can perform pro bono work in homeless shelters, shelters for abused women or shelters for AIDS patients.
Real Estate Law - Paralegals who work in this area may research zoning regulations, prepare drafts of contract of sale, examine title abstracts, assist in obtaining financing, review mortgage applications, arrange for closing times with buyers, sellers, and brokers, collect the data necessary for closing, and prepare and organize the closing documents.
Social Security Law - Paralegals who work in this area may identify problems (denial of benefits, termination of benefits, overpayments, Medicare waivers/appeals), investigate relevant facts, perform legal research, represent clients at administrative hearings, and assist attorneys in preparing court appeals from the Social Security Administration.
Tax Law - Paralegals who work in this area may compile all necessary data for preparation of tax returns, communicate with clients to obtain information, draft extension-of-time requests for late filings, make corrections in the returns based on new or clarified data, and compile documentation on the valuation of assets.
Worker's Compensation Law - Paralegals who work in this area may collect and record details of claim, collect or arrange for the collection of documents such as medical records, draft claims for compensation, draft requests for hearings, draft medical authorizations, and draft demands for medical information in the possession of respondent or the insurance carrier.