Continuing Education And Professional Development Opportunities For Paralegals
For those in the legal field, earning a paralegal degree or certification does not signal the end of the learning journey. Because the practice of law continues to evolve, paralegals must stay on top of developments and changes impacting their profession. Doing so can improve a paralegal’s productivity and ability to meet ongoing challenges at work, while demonstrating a commitment to the legal profession. Earning a paralegal certification also comes with continuing education requirements which paralegals must meet in order to renew their certifications.
Continued Education Opportunities for Paralegals
Continuing education for paralegals does not need to be boring, nor does it need to be irrelevant to the type of work you perform. Choosing subjects that interest you will help you get more out of your continuing education coursework and enable you to put what you learned into practice at work. If you are searching for new career opportunities, listing the categories for completed courses on your resume can also make you more attractive to potential employers.
Some of the many available continuing education options available to paralegals include:
Paralegals must adhere to high ethical standards. Continuing education courses focused on advanced ethics may provide situational examples to help paralegals recognize and learn strategies to avoid potential ethical pitfalls.
Legal Project Management
Legal project management courses involve learning to navigate various aspects of project management for law firms and legal departments more efficiently. These stages include the initiation phase, planning and execution stages, and ultimately delivering the final work product. This type of course can help paralegals provide better client service, thereby adding more value to their employers.
Paralegals working for attorneys who handle business law matters can benefit from this type of coursework. Continuing education courses focused on business law often cover the differences between various legal business entity structures and other relevant information.
If you support attorneys who work with patents, copyrights and trademarks, choosing continuing education courses in intellectual property law can help you better understand this niche area of law.
Courses in professional responsibility reintroduce and underscore the high standards to which paralegals must hold themselves. This type of course generally reminds paralegals how their roles differ from licensed attorneys’ roles and highlights the importance of competence in the paralegal profession.
Professional Opportunities for Paralegals
Many people choose to pursue lifelong careers as paralegals and enjoy personal and professional job satisfaction from doing so. However, you could choose to leverage your paralegal training in other ways, such as:
- Conflicts analyst: People in this role in law firms are responsible for vetting potential clients and adversaries to identify any possible conflicts of interest which could preclude representation.
- Nurse paralegal: If you earn a nursing degree and complete training as a paralegal, you could work as a nurse paralegal for an insurance company, government agency or law firm focused on health law.
- Paralegal manager: If you enjoy leading people, you could work as a paralegal manager, helping guide a team of paralegals, hire and train staff, and assign responsibilities.
- Legal sales: Legal sales professionals often represent software companies and other services marketed to law firms and attorneys.
- Legal recruiter: You could leverage your legal knowledge and human resources acumen to work as a recruiter, helping attorneys and other legal professionals find their dream jobs.
- Attorney: Finally, you could choose to continue your education by going on to become a licensed attorney. This career path requires obtaining a bachelor’s degree and a law degree, as well as meeting state-specific licensing requirements.
Discover Where a Paralegal Studies Degree Can Take Your Career!
Continuing education and other professional development opportunities can help paralegals demonstrate their value to their current employers and provide foundational knowledge to prepare motivated paralegals for other related career paths.
Generations College has been educating paralegals for more than 50 years, having established the first paralegal studies program in Illinois in 1973. Contact us today to learn more about our fully accredited on-campus and online paralegal studies degree programs.