What Are the Different Types of Trainee Paralegal Jobs?

Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen
A paralegal working.
A paralegal working.

The types of trainee paralegal jobs available include formal apprenticeships, internships in legal practices and clinics, as well as on-the-job training. In many jurisdictions, no government license is required to work as a paralegal, offering those who aspire to a paralegal career a great deal of flexibility in qualifying for a position. Those who are serious about establishing a career in paralegal work and who hope to advance in their profession typically will want to combine a trainee position with formal education so as to maximize their job opportunities.

Perhaps the most common types of trainee paralegal jobs are those in which an aspiring paralegal is trained on the job. While a paralegal may find that his or career prospects improve if he or she does eventually complete a formal training program, entry-level paralegal work may be available to someone with a basic office administration background, a college degree, or specialized training in a law-related area. The trainee in a small or solo practice may simply take direction from an attorney or, if employed in a larger firm, can be trained by more senior paralegals.

Trainee paralegal jobs are also available through formal apprenticeship programs. In an apprenticeship program, an aspiring paralegal enrolls in an educational program offered through a community college or vocational school while working in a legal organization or company. The advantage of an apprenticeship is that the worker is able to earn a living while also completing a formal educational credential that can be invaluable in finding a position after completing the internship.

Students in paralegal programs offered through community colleges, vocational schools, or universities may have the option of completing an internship while enrolled in school. Internship programs vary by school and employer, but typically allow a student who has completed a significant portion of his or her coursework to work in a legal setting. While placed in these trainee paralegal jobs, interns typically complete a structured program of responsibilities, which may involve being assigned to different legal teams and departments at various points during their employment.

Other trainee paralegal jobs can be found in the military. Militaries often maintain their own legal systems and rely on the work of paralegals to help service members manage legal issues. Typically, paralegal training will take place after basic training is completed. Service members who serve as paralegals can typically use their education and experience to find paralegal work in the private sector after they leave the military. Their training may also apply toward academic credit at a university should the service member decide to obtain a degree at a later date.

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    • A paralegal working.
      By: Franck Boston
      A paralegal working.