If you are a young person with an interest in the legal field, but not yet certain about your life's goals, becoming a trained paralegal may be the answer for you. There are two main reasons for considering this possibility. First, paralegal work is a great career in itself. After you have begun this type of work, you may decide that the number of options open to paralegals contains the job that you truly want. Also, once you have started working as a paralegal, you will have had more than a headstart if you later decide that you wish to pursue an even more advanced degree in the legal field. Even if you have already made this decision, or are thinking about it as an option, paralegal study and work will be a very good investment of your time. Whichever decision you eventually conclude, as a paralegal you will be at the heart of the legal system. In this line of work, you will be familiarizing yourself with the current status of laws and procedure, and take on a very important role in your attorney's specialized field. If you are thinking about becoming an attorney yourself, paralegal work is a most excellent opportunity; you can think of it as being like an internship, but with significantly more important functions and very good pay! If you think about paralegal work in this manner, you will see that you will not only be working "for," but actually working "with," the most qualified professionals in the legal field; and this is a very important factor in both learning and experience that you would not be able to gain from classroom study alone. If becoming an attorney is a possibility in your future, you will also be interested to learn that many schools which offer higher legal degrees will count both your paralegal training and your work experience in this field to credit toward your advanced degree. In this way, not only have you gained education and work experience, you have gained education and experience that is relevant to your future goal. Once you have begun working as a paralegal, you may decide that all of the opportunities and benefits offered by this particular line of work are precisely what you want. It does not need to be a "stepping stone" to a different career in law, for it is a highly prestigious career in itself. If performing essential functions, having job security, and gaining a deep sense of personal satisfaction are what you are looking for in a career, the team-player role of a paralegal is certain to meet and exceed your expectations. Either way you look at it, beginning your steps into your future with paralegal training is a great start. Whether you are fully certain as to what your eventual goal will be, or if you are still at the stage of having some doubts, both the knowledge and the hands-on experience that you will gain from paralegal study and training is the best introduction that you can have to this fascinating field.
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