People trained as paralegals have many potential career options. If working as a traditional law office paralegal for the same organization for years doesn’t seem appealing, you may want to consider pursuing a career as a freelance paralegal. As a freelance or contract paralegal, you will have the career flexibility to decide which jobs you want to accept, based on your availability and needs.
EDUCATION AND TRAINING REQUIRED TO BE A SUCCESSFUL CONTRACT PARALEGAL
To find work as a paralegal in almost any field or type of role, including freelance jobs, you need to first prove that you have the legal skills and knowledge employers seek. In most cases, employers and those contracting with freelance legal assistants prefer professionals who have earned at least a two-year paralegal studies degree from an accredited college.
Freelance paralegals generally need to be able to demonstrate their knowledge in the area of law in which the employer works. For example, if you pursue freelance paralegal jobs with an employer that works in estate planning law, it helps to have an understanding of wills and trusts. Similarly, to freelance for a real estate title company, you should be familiar with the basics of property law.
Regardless of a hiring firm’s focus area, freelance paralegals also need to know how to conduct effective legal research, manage their time efficiently, and be able to communicate well using written and verbal means.
FREELANCE PARALEGAL RESPONSIBILITIES
In a sense, freelancing as a paralegal means you are your own boss. You work when you decide to do so for law firms, corporations or even solo attorneys who need some help but don’t anticipate having a long-term need for a regular employee.
You decide what types of contract paralegal jobs you want to agree to take and which you want to decline. In some cases, jobs may last a day or two. In other situations, some freelance paralegals work for the same hiring firm for months at a time.
BEING A CONTRACT PARALEGAL CAN BE REWARDING
Paralegals who have made a career out of freelancing often enjoy doing so because of the freedom and control they have over their schedules. If you only want to work nine months of the year, you can choose to simply not accept potential freelance jobs that don’t line up with your calendar.
Alternatively, some successful freelance paralegals who have built strong reputations with their clients may choose to take on as much work as they can handle, ultimately making more money than they would working solely for one employer.
Freelancing could also give you a better understanding of what types of full-time jobs you might ultimately want to pursue. Some graduates choose to freelance before applying for longer-term roles so they can adapt to various work environments and gain hands-on experience in different areas of the law.
A DEGREE FROM Generations COLLEGE CAN PREPARE YOU FOR CAREER SUCCESS
Now that you know how to be a freelance paralegal, it’s time to take the first step toward realizing this career goal by earning your Paralegal Studies degree.
At Generations College, our paralegal programs are designed with busy, motivated adults in mind. With the oldest two-year paralegal studies program in Illinois, Generations College understands what students — and their potential employers — need. Our curriculum includes real-world, hands-on education and instruction offered during daytime and evening hours.
Whether you decide to become a contract paralegal or to put your degree to work in another capacity, you can be confident that you will gain the skills needed at Generations College.
Please note that paralegals may not practice law or otherwise provide legal services directly to the public except as permitted by law.