Being a paralegal isn’t easy – you’re typically doing much of the same work as a lawyer, just not presenting the cases in court. This means long hours of research, review and preparation, all while working below someone else. If you think you’re ready to take the next step up and be your own lawyer, make sure you know what you’re getting into.
First of all, if you’re already a paralegal, you likely already have an associate’s degree in paralegal studies. If this is the case, you must complete additional courses to get a bachelor’s degree before moving forward. If you already have your bachelor’s degree, you must complete the LSAT, or Law School Admission Test. Then you can apply for law school, wait for acceptance and enroll.
If you’ve already been working as a paralegal, you should be fairly familiar with terminology, your state’s laws and use cases. This should make it easier to pass your LSAT, and help you with courses in law school. Continuing your work as a paralegal throughout law school can be a great opportunity if your employer offers law school reimbursement of any sort. Many firms want their promising employees to continue their educations and offer reimbursement programs.
Once you take the bar exam you are ready for your new career as a lawyer! If your current employer paid for your education, they most likely have a lawyer position lined up for you. If they did not assist you, you’ve likely created a network of connections through your paralegal employment.
You may end up doing a great deal of the same work as you did as a paralegal, but you’ll be able to present your cases in court, potentially get your own paralegal to aid you and be bringing in more money.
Looking for your next paralegal or lawyer career opportunity? Get in touch with us today and speak to a career coach.