When pursuing a bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies, it’s important to consider what other skill sets – those learned outside of the required curriculum – could boost your career. William Woods University offers a wide variety of online courses to round out your education.
Paralegals routinely need three skills: an extensive knowledge of the legal system, exceptional organizational abilities and strong communication skills. Polishing your skill and knowledge in all or any of these three areas will increase your marketability when searching for a job in the paralegal field.
Your core responsibilities will include writing legal documents, preparing and answering discovery requests, walking clients through the progression of their case, and investigating and analyzing contracts and other legal documents. A course such as LGS 318 Criminal Practice will strengthen your knowledge and confidence in legal issues and procedures and help you become a great paralegal.
As a paralegal, you will be expected to carry out administrative work in order to assist the attorney in staying on schedule and completing daily tasks. Some of the administrative tasks that you may be asked to complete include: maintaining client files, drafting correspondence, scheduling depositions, monitoring deadlines and performing factual research. A course such as LGS 321 Evidence and Fact Gathering will provide the organizational know-how needed to excel at this aspect of the job.
Proficient communication skills are useful in almost any job and will be an asset in daily life outside the workplace. Paralegals act as a liaison with clients, interviewing them and walking them through the legal process. In order to be effective in this position you must have the ability to relate well to many different personality types, including clients who are in distress, be able to resolve conflicts, negotiate and interview. Courses such as BUS 332 Business Communications will equip you with the strong oral, written and interpersonal skills to thrive in the paralegal world.
As mentioned in a blog post by Vicki Voisin, The Paralegal Mentor, a few other desirable personality traits/people skills that are recommended you polish up for the professional world of paralegals include: Time management capabilities, problem solving skills, works well under pressure, the ability to be a team player, strong work ethic, self-confidence, accepting (and learning from) criticism, flexibility and, of course, a positive attitude.
The William Woods University online Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies program has been serving students for over 40 years, producing a broad network of alumni across the nation in roles ranging from paralegals in law firms to lobbyist to compliance officers and so much more. Take the time to sit down with your advisor and discuss options of how you too can get the most out of your education and flourish in your Paralegal career.