We had the opportunity to speak to Jessica Pieklo, a paralegal instructor and former lawyer about the paralegal profession. This justice career allows you to utilize your organization and research skills to be the right-hand person to a lawyer. Read more about what the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics cites as a field with much faster than average employment growth.
1) Why did you get in the current profession you are in? Being in the legal field has always been an obvious choice for me. I've always been passionate about public policy and politics, so working in a profession responsible for writing and interpreting the law just made sense. I would definintely say that someone who has these passions would enjoy a career as a paralegal.
2) Can you share one piece of advice for current paralegal students? Current paralegal students need to make sure their critical thinking, writing, and speaking skills are top notch. The law is a thinking profession and one where you will be asked to justify your conclusions. The only way you can do that successfully is with solid critical thinking and writing skills.
3) What are the different types of roles a paralegal graduate could pursue? A paralegal graduate has a host of opportunities ahead of them. They can work in the court system, in a private law firm, in a corporate legal department or even continue on with their education and go to law school.
4) Can you describe a common paralegal job description? A common paralegal job description would be one that looks for someone with good organizational skills, office skills such as typing and filing, the ability to work well under pressure, conduct research, interview clients, help with investigations and just about anything else a supervising attorney can think of!
5) What are common paralegal degree courses a student would take? As a paralegal student you will take substantive law classes such as Civil Litigation, Contracts, Real Estate, and Family Law (just to name a few). You will also need general education requirements such as Composition.
Has this article sparked your interest? Read more about our paralegal degree program at Rasmussen College today!
More about the expert: Jessica Pieklo, J.D., M.A., is a full-time instructor in the paralegal degree program at Rasmussen College in Brooklyn Park, MN. She has worked in the field for 10 years as a litigator and teacher. Jessica Pieklo also has a Masters of Arts in English from Mills College and a Bachelors of Arts in English and History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She's received numerous professional awards including being named a "Rising Star" in the legal profession in Minnesota- an honor reserved for less that 10 percent of lawyers in the state.