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Working As A Corporate Paralegal

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Deal with People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Stressful

  • $71,610

    Average Salary

What Does A Corporate Paralegal Do

A Corporate Paralegal helps attorneys gather information and materials in preparation for different kinds of cases, hearings, or meetings. They also work in the legal departments of large corporations and for government agencies.

How To Become A Corporate Paralegal

Most paralegals and legal assistants have an associate’s degree in paralegal studies, or a bachelor's degree in another field and a certificate in paralegal studies.

Education

There are several paths a person can take to become a paralegal. Candidates can enroll in a community college paralegal program to earn an associate’s degree. However, many employers prefer, or even require, applicants to have a bachelor’s degree.

Because only a small number of schools offer bachelor’s and master's degrees in paralegal studies, applicants typically have a bachelor’s degree in another subject and earn a certificate in paralegal studies.

Associate’s and bachelor's degree programs in paralegal studies usually offer paralegal training courses in legal research, legal writing, and the legal applications of computers, along with courses in other academic subjects, such as corporate law and international law. Most certificate programs provide intensive paralegal training for people who already hold college degrees.

Employers sometimes hire college graduates with no legal experience or legal education and train them on the job. In these cases, the new employee may have experience in a technical field that is useful to law firms, such tax preparation, nursing, or criminal justice.

Other Experience

In many cases, employers prefer candidates who have at least 1 year of experience in a law firm or other office setting. In addition, a technical understanding of a specific legal specialty can be helpful. For example, a personal-injury law firm may desire a paralegal with a background in nursing or health administration.

Work experience in a law firm or other office setting is particularly important for people who do not have formal paralegal training.

Many paralegal training programs offer an internship, in which students gain practical experience by working for several months in a private law firm, the office of a public defender or attorney general, a corporate legal department, a legal aid organization, or a government agency. Internship experience helps students improve their technical skills and can enhance their employment prospects.

Certifications

Although not required, some employers may prefer to hire applicants who have completed a paralegal certification program. Many national and local paralegal organizations offer voluntary paralegal certifications to students able to pass an exam. Other organizations offer voluntary paralegal certifications for paralegals who meet certain experience and education criteria. For more information about paralegal certifications, see the More Info section.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Paralegals must be able to document and present their research and related information to their supervising attorney.

Computer skills. Paralegals need to be familiar with using computers for legal research and litigation support. They also use computer programs for organizing and maintaining important documents.

Interpersonal skills. Paralegals spend most of their time working with clients and other professionals and must be able to develop good relationships. They must make clients feel comfortable sharing personal information related to their cases.

Organizational skills. Paralegals may be responsible for many cases at one time. They must adapt quickly to changing deadlines.

Research skills. Paralegals need good research and investigative skills to conduct legal research.

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Corporate Paralegal jobs

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Real Corporate Paralegal Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Corporate Paralegal WEX Inc. South Portland, ME Feb 01, 2014 $58,000 -
$68,000
Senior Corporate Paralegal Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP New York, NY Sep 29, 2013 $57,000
Corporate Paralegal Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP New York, NY Sep 28, 2010 $47,900
Corporate Paralegal Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP New York, NY Sep 28, 2010 $47,800
Paralegal-Corporate and Commercial Freudenberg-NOK General Partnership Plymouth, MI Oct 01, 2012 $46,000

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Top Skills for A Corporate Paralegal

In-HouseCounselCorporateComplianceDueDiligenceMaterialsMergersCorporateEntitiesUCCLegalResearchRealEstateTransactionsLiabilityCompaniesCorporateRecordsLegalDocumentsIntellectualPropertyFinancialLegalDepartmentStockCertificatesCorporateGovernanceDocumentsAuditProxySkyBylaws

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Top Corporate Paralegal Skills

  1. In-House Counsel
  2. Corporate Compliance
  3. Due Diligence Materials
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Assist in-house counsel in corporation acquisition transactions for domestic and international subsidiaries.
  • Prepared and maintained corporate compliance calendar.
  • Reviewed and analyzed due diligence materials and contracts received for transactions.
  • Gathered documents for corporate mergers & acquisitions from due diligence to closing.
  • Managed all aspects of general corporate upkeep for hundreds of corporate entities in 60 attorney department.

Top Corporate Paralegal Employers

Corporate Paralegal Videos

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The Paralegal Profession: an insider's perspective (career panel discussion)

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