According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for trained paralegals is expected to grow by 17 percent over the next decade.

Paralegals are able to perform much of the same work as attorneys, including drafting and reviewing legal documents, at reduced rates. Law firms are hiring more paralegals to help reduce their overhead while continuing to provide services to new and existing clients.

An associate degree is required to work as a paralegal. Earning an associate degree and working as a paralegal is the first step for some professionals toward becoming a lawyer. They choose to work and gain experience and contacts as a paralegal while finishing law school.

Paralegals must possess excellent communication and interpersonal relationship skills, be organized and detail-oriented and have the ability to conduct sound research.

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