Opportunities available to Women in the Paralegal field

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  • By PR Team
  • 8 September, 2017

What is the role of a Paralegal? 

A paralegal is someone with legal knowledge who is trained to perform legal procedures. This person can work at a law enforcement organisation, government offices or be employed in corporate legal offices. They are not admitted as lawyers but they can assist attorneys and lawyers in performing certain tasks.

Paralegals commonly work under the supervision of attorneys and will charge clients affordable costs for legal services. Paralegals deal with sensitive issues in cases and are expected to be considerate and conscious of this. A paralegal must have characteristics of high tolerance in order to manage the expectations and requests made by their supervising attorneys and clients. 

Getting Inside the Mind of a Paralegal 

Sheetal Jugnaik- Legal Officer at Educor Holdings

Image source: Khanyie Dlamini

Sheetal Jugnaik is a Legal Officer at Educor Holdings who has a passion for law and finds her job an exciting one where she learns new things every day. Sheetal does the legal work for Educors education brands including Intec College.

She is a fully admitted attorney who holds an LLB degree.

Her role in the company entails dispensing advice on legal matters, vetting agreements, terms and conditions for campaigns, enrolment forms, and competitions and also ensuring that all documents are in compliance with the law.

Sheetal shares on the Benefits and Challenges of being a Paralegal 

Sheetal describes herself as a fighter and someone who loves challenging people to change their way of thinking. What she enjoys about this job is that no two cases are ever the same and thats a challenge she enjoys. Sheetal is committed to her work and says that anyone in this field should expect to work long hours and late nights.

Sheetal talks of her family being proud of her accomplishment of being an admitted attorney and she laughs about how people expect you to put on the lawyer role at all times, even outside of work. She says for anyone to do well in the legal field they have to have a high tolerance level as situations are likely to get out of hand when there are too many hot heads involved.

Sheetals advice for paralegals is to keep on studying if they wish to become practicing attorneys and that they can be credited for certain subjects they have done in their paralegal course, which lessens the modules they have to do.

When a student has acquired a paralegal qualification, they have a range of career paths they can venture into. 

Let's explore the opportunities in the paralegal field.

Claims Adjuster Paralegal 

A paralegal graduate can operate as a claims adjuster mostly in the insurance business. They assist insured clients in a claim for losses from the insurance company that has covered them. They are the ones who examine the loss and damage incurred on behalf of clients. 

A claims adjuster paralegal will then negotiate the settlement and authorise the payments to policyholders. They need to have good knowledge and understanding of policyholders rights. This helps them ensure that what the insurance company pays clients complies with the applicable law.

Estate planning paralegal 

Estate planning paralegals are responsible for drafting and writing estate documents. These paralegals can choose between commercial or residential estates. Their duties include attending wills signings, filing tax returns, transferring of assets or paperwork for probate hearings. 

Paralegals in estate fulfil duties of researching title claims and related documents. They negotiate or draft lease agreements and assist in the buying and selling of property.

Corporate paralegals 

Paralegals in the corporate sector focus on business transactions such as acquisitions and stock offerings. They can apply the corporate law to protect an organisation's intellectual property in patents such as copyrights and trademarks. 

The purpose of corporate paralegals is to review business operations and ensure that laws are followed. Paralegals in business prepare documents for shareholder agreements and provide financial statements.

Law Clerks 

A law clerk role entails helping attorneys and judges in researching and preparing legal documents. Their other duties include writing orders, attending oral arguments or assisting in the courtroom.

Law clerks work in state trial and appeal courts. The experience that law clerks gain is valuable for their own law practice.

Occupational and health safety specialist

The job description of an occupational health and safety specialist is to evaluate safety in workplaces. They conduct inspections on how the conditions of a work environment affect the safety of employees. They then build programmes that protect people in the work environment from any danger.

Occupational and health safety specialists enforce the regulations that deal with the protection of individuals in an organisation. A health safety specialist must have good knowledge of the regulations of the organisation they work for whether in private or public sector. They have a big responsibility in carrying out regulations of safety for an organisation.

Advancing your career as a paralegal

Image source: Shutterstock 

There are multiple career paths to venture into as a paralegal professional. It is a career where you can grow and advance to other managerial functions in the legal field. Paralegals are generally exposed to the principles and procedures of law through their work experience. Paralegals have the option to transition into lawyers.

When you are in a law firm or legal organisation, you can express your desire to grow into becoming a lawyer with management. The company can then decide if they want to support you during this career move. They can accommodate you by allowing you flexible work hours as you study further at the law school. Having this support from your supervisors will make your goal in elevating your role in law achievable. 

About the Author: Khanyie Dlamini
Content Creator at Educor Holdings

As a writer in the education sector I am passionate about nurturing people in their careers, wellness and personal growth. I focus on a variety of illuminating topics that are helpful to peoples growth and success. I hope to inspire people to feel motivated to live up to their full potential and know they can have an optimistic and prosperous life. My intention is to contribute to an empowered nation that makes great choices and positive change.

Personally I enjoy the world of fashion and keeping up with the trends. I have great interest in digital trends and the impact of social media in todays world. I enjoy learning from other creative people. I value having purposeful relationships with people who have great visions that align with my own.

<< Back to the blog
  • By PR Team
  • 8 September, 2017
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