Just because you earn an online degree for paralegal work does not necessarily mean you will find a job. You DO have to go and look for it and make a strong first impression on potential employers. However, it’s not all about presentation. Sometimes your background is scrutinized by employers who want to know what skills you bring to the table. So here are four tips on finding a job after finishing online paralegal schools’ curriculum.
1. Take an internship in a law firm.
This is the surest way to impress an employer who wants to know that you have had intensive on-the-job training, working with legal professionals and performing work for sensitive and important cases. Even an interim position, or a small time contract opportunity, is better than nothing. They want to see evidence that you’re ready to work in a fast-paced, busy office!
2. Get work experience in a related or niche field.
Attorneys want to hire people who can offer unique advantages to their company, not merely perform the work assigned. This is why many attorneys will hire former nurses or health care professionals, since they have special expertise in a field that is sure to come up in future cases. Start thinking in advance which specialization you want to try and then see if you can find work experience in this setting.
3. Aim for corporate opportunities as well as law firms.
While most paralegals think of working in a law firm or lawyer’s office, don’t limit yourself. There is actually a growing need for paralegals that finish online paralegal schools and then seek out employment with corporations. These companies want to reduce expenses paid to attorneys and instead hire paralegals who can research laws and facts for them.
4. Get certified.
This is not actually a requirement but it will help in giving you the extra “edge” over other applicants. You can become registered or certified by taking an abbreviated course which will cover similar subject matter as reviewed on your BS or MS studies.
Last but not least, be sure to find the companies that are hiring, and don’t be afraid to do a bit of cold calling and inquire about hiring. The most successful paralegals are the ones who have an educated background and who are aggressive in approaching companies. Online paralegal schools can help you in this regard. Start looking for classes today and get started in an exciting and rewarding career!