What it takes to be a Paralegal in SA
Are you interested in becoming a paralegal? Paralegal jobs are satisfying and challenging, and with the right education and skills, you can enjoy an exciting career in the field of law.
To be eligible for paralegal vacancies, you will need a comprehensive understanding of law as well as the ability to multi-task. Once you know what is required of you in this profession, you can start developing the right skills through your education and experience.
What is a paralegal?
A paralegal is responsible for assisting an attorney in a law firm. Employees in this position are responsible for assisting with client interviews. They take notes and prepare follow up interviews for the attorney that they are working for. They compile legal documents and complete administrative tasks.
While these are some of the typical tasks they are expected to perform, their duties vary according to the type of law that they are practicing. They can also offer a cost effective solution for clients who need to obtain legal advice. Paralegal vacancies can be found in companies and non-profits under the supervision of an attorney as well as at law firms.
Professionals in this field can choose to specialise in criminal, banking or corporate law. Paralegals spend the majority of their time at work in an office but they may be required to travel to court as well as to meetings. This position typically offers regular working hours, however, overtime is common.
If you want to find out how to succeed as a paralegal, take a look at the list of skills that you will need.
Knowledge of law
They required to have an understanding of the law through education and experience. They require this knowledge in order to complete procedural legal work which an attorney would typically carry out.
High ethical standards
Paralegal jobs require high standards of ethics. Professionals in this field are required to understand and adhere to the ethical standards that the law requires. This includes confidentiality as well as not performing legal tasks which they are not qualified to complete.
Ability to Multi-task
If you want to be eligible for paralegal vacancies, you will need outstanding multi-tasking capabilities. Professionals in this position are required to perform a wide range of tasks according to strict deadlines. From conducting legal research to compiling legal documents, there are a diverse array of tasks to complete.
In this position one is required to conduct interviews with clients as well as witnesses, so it is essential that they are able to work with people.
If you want to be eligible for paralegal vacancies, you will need exceptional organisational capabilities. Paralegals are required to complete a wide range of administrative tasks on a daily basis and professionals are responsible for filing as well as keeping reference files in order. They oversee the attorney’s schedule and may be responsible for coordinating the attorneys travel arrangements.
Professionals in this field must have good verbal and written communication skills. The ability to listen is important during client interviews as they need to document vital information during this process. They assist attorneys with opening and closing arguments for court cases which requires superior communication skills.
A large part of paralegal jobs involve computer work. They are required to draft documents as well as letters. They must be able to complete administrative tasks using a computer, such as responding to emails and employees in this position are required to conduct as well.
If you want to succeed in legal jobs in South Africa, you will need to maintain a high level of professionalism.
Ability to work under pressure
As a paralegal, you will need to complete tasks according to strict deadlines. While you may need to complete tasks quickly, it is necessary to maintain a high level of precision at all times.
Those working in this position, will be expected to arrive to work on-time and complete tasks precisely. It is also necessary to be reliable so that you can establish high levels of trust with clients. Maintaining confidentiality is vital as paralegals work with sensitive and personal information on a regular basis.
Already qualified and looking for legal jobs in South Africa? Visit Job Mail today! Register your CV and start applying for paralegal vacancies.
Job Mail Staff Writer
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