Alternative Careers for Paralegals

Tired of being a paralegal? You’re not alone. According to a recent benefits and compensation survey conducted by the National Federation of Paralegal Associations, 13 percent of those surveyed reported reduced job satisfaction in the field. The good news for those ready to move on is the abundant amount of available jobs after being a paralegal.

Exploring Careers Post-Paralegal

The skills inherent to a paralegal position can be transferred to other careers. The talents honed during the time spent as a paralegal—such as strong communication skills, close eye to detail and solid research capabilities—put paralegals at an advantage if they decide to switch careers. The following are potential jobs after being a paralegal to consider. These jobs may require additional training or another certification, but some will not.

  • Technology: Getting certified as a paralegal will likely involve significant computer literacy training. Paralegals are well suited for tech jobs due to their abilities to conduct heavy research, create and manage reports and pay close attention to produce error-free documentation. Jobs to consider in the tech field include a computer center manager, a data entry operator, a digital forensic specialist and a database administrator.
  • Human Resources: Paralegals are often considered valuable resources when companies are looking to staff a legal recruiter position. Recruiters can work for law firms, government agencies and employment services companies. The recruiter would seek out legal talent and vet candidates. The position is financially rewarding too with the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting for 2017 a median pay of $60,350 per year for human resources specialists.
  • Library: Law librarians are specialists hired to manage the legal library of law firms, corporations and government agencies. Job duties could include managing collections, locating materials and acquiring new publications.
  • Banking: Banks and other financial institutions typically hire paralegals, but there are other banking job opportunities to consider such as import and export manager branch sales representative, customer service representative and business analyst.

Nontraditional Paralegal Jobs

Not all paralegals are placed within law offices. The law affects all areas of our lives and the need for paralegal skills extend across industries. Here is a small sampling of nontraditional paralegal jobs that may appeal to those looking for a career outside of the law office.

  • Real Estate Paralegal: The majority of real estate firms and titling agencies employ an in-house legal team. Paralegals are responsible for managing the legal documentation that goes along with buying and selling commercial and residential real estate. Paralegals will also be responsible for understanding real estate laws imposed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to ensure proper disclosures are made to stay in compliance.
  • Corporate Paralegal: Corporate paralegals are hired to support an organization’s mergers and acquisitions and assist with their development as a corporation. They need to be well versed in requirements associated with state and county corporations codes and filing procedures.
  • Non-Profit Paralegal: Those tired of being a paralegal in a law office could find working for a non-profit very rewarding. Non-profits often have limited funds and hire paralegals to assist with any legal issues that need to be resolved to further the organization’s mission.

Paralegals must think outside the box when searching for their next positions. Being a paralegal is the perfect entry-level career because it allows for plenty of career advancement in virtually any field.