That Side of the Law: When You Want to Be a Criminal Paralegal

Lawyer and Paralegal

So, you want to be a criminal law paralegal.

Out of all the branches of the field, you choose to dabble in the area that deals with criminal defense and prosecutors’ offices. No doubt that criminal law can be intriguing, but there’s more to being a paralegal in this field than just filing papers or brewing coffee for the attorney. Also, it’s different from the jobs you see on television (you won’t be chasing criminals down the street).

After pursuing paralegal studies online, you want to make the most of your next career path, but what does it entail?

Job Description and Tasks

Criminal law paralegals have the same set of tasks as other kinds of paralegals: drafting paperwork, interviewing witnesses, communicating with clients, and building cases against possible suspects. Criminal law paralegals usually do the following tasks, as well:

  • Arranging and adjusting requirements for bail
  • Filing for a reduction in bond motion
  • Gathering all discovery information, which includes police reports, affidavits, and search warrants
  • Talking with probation officers

The Steps to Take

Aspiring criminal law paralegals should finish a two- or four-year degree in criminal justice or paralegal studies with a specialization in criminal law. On the other hand, there is also an increasing number of organizations that require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree.

A bachelor’s degree, however, is not enough. You’ll need the skills too.

It’s a big plus if you possess extensive knowledge of state and local federal laws and court procedures. Professionalism and dedication also make a big difference in your profession.

Career Opportunities

In the field of criminal law paralegals, private law firms are your biggest fans. Special interest groups and the government are also part of the market, but they employ only a small number of paralegals. Experienced criminal law paralegals have the extra advantage of applying for managerial and administrative positions.

Interested in this field? Sharpen up your CV and skills to earn that job.