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April 19, 2013 by Shelley Riseden Leave a Comment While there are many skills can be improved with practice, others may be very difficult to improve upon, and still others, are either present or they are not.
A law office must be organized in order to run effectively, but attorneys seem to be one of the most disorganized groups of people. Paralegals who work in both small law offices and for a large company, need to be able to not only use a computer, but deal with minor technology issues, such as printers that refuse to print, copiers that claim to be jammed, when no such jam exists, networks that go down for no apparent reason, and computers that lose files. No matter what type of law you practice, your office or company will be inundated with problems. Whether you work for a small law firm, a large corporation, or a government agency, as a paralegal, you will need to be able to communicate effectively with many different types of people, such as clients, witnesses, Court personnel, Judges, and other legal professionals.  You may need to communicate orally, such as during a meeting or phone call, or in writing in a brief, letter, or email.
Posts related to 5 Important Skills for a Paralegal to Have 5 Things You Should do Before Your Paralegal EducationBefore you sign up for paralegal classes, there are 5 things that you really should do to increase your chances of finding a job and being successful as a paralegal.
NACE collected data for the Job Outlook 2014 survey from its college recruiting professional members from August 5 through September 13, 2013. Therefore, before you decide that you want to be a paralegal, you may want to look at some of the skills that are important in the legal profession and first decide if you already have the skills that it takes, are willing to develop them, or if perhaps a career as a paralegal is not for you.
Some of them realize that they are disorganized, and need help arranging the office, but many of them do not. In most law firms, if you cannot resolve these issues, you will at least be expected to find out who can, and get them to the office as quickly as possible, so that the attorney can continue about his or her day, unaffected.
Not only will you need to be able to convey your message or point clearly, but you will also need to be able to listen to what others are saying, or read what they have written, and understand their main point or message. Riseden is a freelance paralegal providing research, document preparation, and writing services to both attorneys and non-attorneys.


The top five skills that one may need to have in order to be happy and excel as a paralegal include organizational, technological, people, problem solving, and communication skills. Whatever the case, the office will not run without organization, and that task will very likely fall to you, as the paralegal.
Even if your boss does not expect you to be able to take care of problems such as this, a good paralegal will be prepared and able to handle any computer or technology related problem that arises, as it is not cost effective for an attorney to deal with such issues. If you are uncomfortable around other people, or do not have certain skills that make others feel comfortable with you, you may not be happy working as a paralegal. Therefore, excellent written and oral communication skills and the ability to communicate with folks from all walks of life can be a great asset to a paralegal.
If you are lucky enough to work for an attorney who realizes that he or she lacks organizational skills, you may be able to organize the office and have it running smoothly quite easily. A paralegal who can make sure that the office continues to run, and the attorney makes it to Court, no matter what, can be invaluable to his or her employer. When working as a paralegal, many of your clients will be going through a particularly difficult time in their life. From solving the problem of the internet being down, and office computers unable to synchronize files or calendars, to working out the intrinsic issues of a client’s case, a paralegal’s job is to use logic in order to solve problems.
If you do not have good communication skills, are not comfortable communicating with strangers, or have difficulty understanding what others are saying, you may not want to embark upon a career as a paralegal. Consistently over the years, however, it has been shown that such predictions are difficult and many of the past predictions have been proven wrong. However, if you happen to work for a boss who does not realize he or she lacks organizational skills, you may find that this task is quite the chore.


Therefore, if you do not have computer or general technology skills, and are unsure if you can develop them, you may wish to consider another career. Divorce, custody battles, planning your own estate, probating a loved one’s estate, and being involved in any lawsuit, whether as a Plaintiff, Respondent, or a Defendant can all be very stressful, and people skills that allow you to handle with clients who are  dealing with such issues can be very valuable. He or she may also need to be able to follow an appellate Court’s logic through a legal issue in order to prepare an accurate brief, or understand the logic behind an opposing party’s argument, in order to locate appropriate case law in order to undermine it.
Convincing someone who believes themselves to be running an organized and efficient office to change anything about the way it is run can be difficult, but with the right organizational skills, a paralegal can succeed at making the office run efficiently, which in turn will make the firm money. A paralegal may also need to communicate with witnesses, Court personnel, and opposing parties, including their paralegals and attorneys, and might find that certain people skills are needed in order to get others to cooperate so that they can represent clients more effectively.
Therefore, if you do not possess good logic skills, you may want to consider another career, as only those who can solve problems in a quick and efficient manner will likely be happy and successful working as paralegals. Whether working for an organized employer or not, a paralegal with great organizational skills is more likely to be happy and successful than one without such skills.
The ability to soothe, charm, and comfort others then, can help make a paralegal a valuable asset to his or her employer.



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