Paralegal and related careers… then, now and going forward

William Woods Adult Degrees

In the four decades since the launch of paralegals and legal assistants as an adjunct to lawyers, much has changed on every side and area of specialty within the law.

In the late 1960s, the desire to extend legal services to a wider cross-section of Americans introduced the concept of paralegals and legal assistants as a means of controlling costs and improving service.

Today, swift developments in the law and technology are paving way for a new breed of legal careers. A similar imbalance in supply and demand, case complexity and cost control, has sparked further transformation of litigation support roles.

Adult students seeking online paralegal degrees quickly learn how technological advances in e-discovery and related technologies lend themselves to new sub-specialties. In this and future posts, we will take a quick look at this trend, starting with Electronic Discovery (E-Discovery) Professionals.

Obviously, the digital age has led to an exponential growth of Electronically Stored Information (ESI), which means that all kinds of data now take an integral part in litigation cases.

E-discovery professionals provide support to attorneys and clients to identify, preserve, collect, process, review and produce electronically stored information in litigation. Their knowledge of IT combined with legal skills make them one of the most highly demanded and higher paid new legal professions.  E-discovery Managers can earn as much as $125,000 to $250,000 annually.

Through the online Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies degree, William Woods University gives the tech-savvy and legal career-inspired students, a stepping stone towards becoming an E-Discovery Professional.

A good place to track emerging trends among Missouri paralegals is the St. Louis Paralegal Association, a non-profit association formed to promote the advancement of the paralegal profession in the St. Louis area and across Missouri through encouragement of high ethical and professional standards and to provide access to information and education for paralegals, and other legal professionals.

The St. Louis Paralegal Association is affiliated with The National Association of Legal Assistants (“NALA”). Each member of St. Louis Paralegal Association is bound by NALA’s code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility.

In coming blogs, we’ll explore other emerging legal professions related to a Paralegal qualification.

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