The labor and employment paralegal is a specialized field with many sub-specialties of labor and employment law. Choosing to go into this field will require the paralegal to become well versed in court proceedings and procedures pertaining to employment. They will also need to have knowledge of current labor laws and practices.
The employment and labor law paralegal will assist both the employee and their employer in issues regarding employment practices. They may also work with attorneys who represent the employer. Working with employers, the paralegal will help with compliance pertaining to labor law and assist with unfair practices. As with other paralegals, they will also spend a good amount of time handling documents. They may also assist in labor strikes and work with unions or work to resolve unemployment and insurance disputes.
A well-qualified employment and labor paralegal will posses a variety of skills. They must have good knowledge of legal terms and procedures pertaining to this niche field. They will also need to understand general law office standards and protocols. They must have a good understanding of office procedures and office technology including case management software.
Because the paralegal will manage time sensitive documents and requests, knowing how to prioritize and organize is vital. This position also requires the paralegal to work well in a team atmosphere that may be under pressure or emotionally charged. Knowing how to manage and work well with a variety of people is also important. Their role will usually require meeting with outside organizations, employees, union leaders, court representatives, mediators, and other people involved in resolving labor and employment issues.
While there may not be mandatory requirements to enter this field, usually employers set the standards. Education is often a requisite for employment. The educational track for a labor and employment paralegal may be a certificate program, an associates or bachelors degree, or as an add-on to an existing degree. Schools that offer these programs are available at traditional colleges, online, or with a combination of distance learning courses and in-class meetings.
The coursework for the labor and employment paralegal follows the standard paralegal track. The student will take core classes as well as general education. The number of classes required would depend on the degree path a student follows. Most schools will offer paralegal specialty coursework specifically designed for their niche. Courses offered on labor and employment would be ideal for this career track.
The salary range for the labor and employment paralegal is wide. Indeed.com reported the starting salary at $40,000 on the low end, and $130,000 on the high end. Many factors impact a paralegals income. Highly qualified candidates with a good amount of preexisting experience, and a bachelor's degree, will command a higher salary than a certificated candidate just entering the field.
The career outlook for paralegals in general is good. If budgets continue to tighten, paralegals may be in higher demand as an alternative to more expensive legal services. Employers for labor and employment paralegals include many corporations and government entities.
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