The third step in becoming an indispensable paralegal is Knowledge. Outside of paralegal regulation this has to be one of the most widely debated topics within the paralegal profession. Some paralegals, professional organizations, and employers believe that a paralegal should have a certain level of formal education while others disagree. Although, a formal education is a great way to demonstrate knowledge it is not the only way. The countless paralegals that have worked themselves up from receptionist positions will testify to the value of on the job training, but having a formal education does have great value.
With the advancements in technology and globalization an ill-informed paralegal will lag behind as firms join the global marketplace by opening international offices. For the paralegal that chooses to stay stagnant in their career the knowledge that they gain on the job will suffice. For others that want to soak in all the knowledge that they can following is a list of ways to become a well-informed paralegal:
- Read paralegal publications. Click here for some suggestions.
- Read articles in well-known legal publications. Click here for some suggestions.
- Subscribe to Legal News Feeds. Click here for a variety of legal news feeds.
- Read books about the practice area that you’re interested in. Click here for paralegal books on a variety of topics and practice areas.
- Create a mentorship relationship with an attorney in the practice area you currently work in or want to work in. Read this article in Forbes to learn how to find a mentor.
Knowledge can be acquired in a variety of ways, but the key is to understand that being knowledgeable is a must for a paralegal.
Written by Lakisha Bealer of Paralegal Rainmakers