A corporate paralegal will assist a corporation's legal department in many facets of corporate law--from paperwork to court proceedings. Much of the paralegals time will be spent carrying out routine tasks such as updating company files, preparing legal contracts, reviewing documents, and giving legal assistance. The corporate paralegal may handle executive summaries and directives. They also may be called on to assist with company compliance issues.
The corporate paralegal will offer services in corporate litigation procedures and other specific business legal needs. They may have to attend corporate meetings, prepare corporate resolutions, log board minutes, and other similar corporate items. Depending on the type of corporation hiring the paralegal, they may also need to have experience working on procedures and documents pertaining to finance, bankruptcy, securities, trademarks, patents, and other similar issues.
Individuals who seek a job as a corporate paralegal must demonstrate experience with all manner of corporate documents. As with any paralegal position, strong verbal and written communication skills are a must. They also must be extremely accurate, and detailed in their paperwork. The ideal candidates will work well under pressure, as most corporate settings are fast-paced. Other skills needed include computer skills, a good working knowledge of standard office technology and equipment, and general office procedures.
As a paralegal moves up in responsibilities, the senior corporate paralegal is expected to have a broader range of skills including: management, working with a variety of teams within a company, and for international corporations, foreign business knowledge. A senior paralegal will also need to be proactive and able to identify issues, legal risks and potential liabilities in order to report these to the corporate attorneys.
The salary for the corporate paralegal as reported on indeed.com starts at $30,000 and goes up to $110,000 at the senior level. Many corporations will offer benefits package along with an annual salary. These benefits may include health and dental insurance, scholarships for continuing education, vacation, and paid days off.
As companies grow and expand, more openings are created for staff paralegals. As budgets remain tight, paralegals may grow in demand due to their reduced salaries compared to lawyers. The job outlook for paralegals in general is good. According to a survey by Career Cast, paralegal jobs were posted in the top 20 jobs for income and job outlook.
The educational requirement for corporate paralegals has not been determined at this time. There is, however, a certain standard that many corporations expect when hiring a corporate paralegal. Most corporations will require a paralegal to hold a certificate in paralegal studies. Many posted job opportunities also state they want a paralegal with some prior corporate experience. The more responsibilities a paralegal has, the more experience and education is often required.
Most paralegal programs offer a multi-level opportunity. A student may choose a certificate program that focuses only on the courses needed as a paralegal. Others may choose a full degree program. Many educational institutions offer both paralegal associate's and bachelor degrees. The classes for each degree will include general education, core classes, and specialty electives. The time to complete a degree will depend on each student's unique situation.
Some of the paralegal specialty courses pertaining to business include:
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