Opportunities for paralegal work exist in all areas of law, including family law, bankruptcy, employee benefits, personal injury, litigation, copyrighting, criminal law, labor law, immigration, and real estate. While seven out of ten paralegals work for law firms, many others are employed by the government or corporate legal departments.
All paralegals assist lawyers with the creation of legal documents and conduct research on laws, court cases and contracts, but some duties will vary depending on the employer. Those entering this field with little or no prior experience will typically perform routine tasks, taking on the additional responsibility of more varied tasks after gaining the appropriate experience.
Graduates of this program will also be eligible to work as a legal assistant or paralegal. The duties of a legal assistant/paralegal include assisting the lawyer with research, brief preparation, and other legal office administration, but do not include practicing law, advising clients, or setting fees since paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public except as permitted by law.
Legal assistants are typically employed in an office setting and spend their time on the computer or in a legal library. Legal assistants may work part or full-time depending on the employer’s needs. Full-time employees typically receive a comprehensive benefits package including health care and retirement savings plan(s). A 40-hour work week is standard for most full-time paralegals however those employed by law firms may be required to work additional hours to meet court deadlines. Legal assistants may need to take precautions against eye strain and carpel tunnel, symptoms which occur more often for workers spending many hours at a computer.
Professionals in the paralegal field advance by taking on greater responsibility; this includes a greater diversification of duties, tasks that prove critical to case work or deadlines, and supervising other department personnel. Upon completing an associate degree in paralegal/legal assisting, experience is the largest factor in advancement; however, obtaining a bachelor degree will help most paralegals advance at a faster pace and earn a higher income. Certifications are also available for paralegals who wish to maximize promotional and employment opportunities.
Legal assistants and paralegals are taking over many duties once performed by lawyers. This saves an employer money and increases demand for qualified legal assistants.
The information below reflects aggregated data from all of the Herzing University campuses that have students enrolled in the specified program in the specified time period. The information does not reflect data regarding individual campuses unless only one campus had students to report. The reporting period used to obtain this data was 7/1/2012-6/30/2013. If there were less than 10 graduates in a program, median loan debt and on-time completion data were not disclosed for that program to protect the privacy of those students. Tuition and length may vary by campus location. Ranges could not be input for tuition and length, therefore tuition and length reported are the highest tuition rates and longest program length to encompass all campuses. For information regarding specific campus tuition please refer to http://www.herzing.edu/tuition-financial-aid  . For a more detailed description of how the data was calculated please refer to the Disclosure Methodology located here http://www.herzing.edu/files/2014Disclosures-Methodology.pdf  .