Career and Education Opportunities for Paralegals in Fresno, California
There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for paralegals in the Fresno, California area. There are currently 4,400 working paralegals in California; this should grow 5% to 4,600 working paralegals in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for paralegals, which sees this job pool growing by about 13.9% over the next eight years. In general, paralegals assist lawyers or judges by researching or preparing legal documents.
The income of a paralegal is about $18 hourly or $38,440 per year on average in California. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $17 per hour or $37,130 annually on average. Incomes for paralegals are not quite as good as in the overall category of Representation in California, and not quite as good as the overall Representation category nationally. Paralegals work in a variety of jobs, including: legal assistant, closing agent, and legal clerk.
There is one school within twenty-five miles of Fresno where you can study to be a paralegal, among twenty-four schools of higher education total in the Fresno area. Given that the most common education level for paralegals is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, you can expect to spend about two years studying to be a paralegal if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Paralegal
In general, paralegals assist lawyers or judges by researching or preparing legal documents. They also may meet with clients or assist lawyers and judges in court.
Every day, paralegals are expected to be able to see details at a very fine level of focus. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they read and understand documents and reports.
It is important for paralegals to ready real estate closing statements and help in closing process. They are often called upon to search for and study legal documents to investigate facts and law of cases, to establish causes of action and to ready cases. They also inspect and file pleadings, petitions and other documents relevant to court actions. They are sometimes expected to ready affidavits of documents and maintain document files and case correspondence. Somewhat less frequently, paralegals are also expected to serve copies of pleas to opposing counsel.
Paralegals sometimes are asked to store and maintain currency of legal volumes. And finally, they sometimes have to research and analyze law sources to ready drafts of briefs or arguments for review and use by attorney.
Like many other jobs, paralegals must be able to absorb the factors involved and a problem and provide a well thought out solution and be thorough and dependable.
Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Fresno include:
- Lawyer. Represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, and manage or advise clients on legal transactions. May specialize in a single area or may practice broadly in many areas of law.
- Legal Assistant. Assist lawyers by researching legal precedent, investigating facts, or preparing legal documents. Conduct research to support a legal proceeding, to formulate a defense, or to initiate legal action.
- Title Examiner. Search real estate records, examine titles, or summarize pertinent legal or insurance details for a variety of purposes. May compile lists of mortgages, contracts, and other instruments pertaining to titles by searching public and private records for law firms, real estate agencies, or title insurance companies.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Paralegal Training
San Joaquin College of Law - Clovis, CA
San Joaquin College of Law, 901 Fifth St, Clovis, CA 93612-1312. San Joaquin College of Law is a small college located in Clovis, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. San Joaquin College of Law has a doctor's degree program in Law which graduated forty-nine students in 2008.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Fresno, California
Fresno is situated in Fresno County, California. It has a population of over 476,050, which has grown by 11.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Fresno, 94, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Fresno are valued at $156,200 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, 1,230 new homes were constructed in Fresno, down from 2,016 the previous year.
The three big industries for women in Fresno are health care, educational services, and social assistance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 22 minutes. More than 19.0% of Fresno residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.1%, is lower than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Fresno is 14.8%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.
The percentage of Fresno residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 47.5%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Pearlygrove Baptist Church, Peace Lutheran Church and Golden Harvest Church of God in Christ are all churches located in Fresno. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Assemblies of God and the Southern Baptist Convention.
Fresno is home to the Cribari Winery and the Aspen Hall as well as Beiden Field and Woodward Park. Shopping malls in the area include Figarden Shopping Center, First And Shaw Shopping Center and Fresno Fashion Fair Shopping Center. Visitors to Fresno can choose from Bedding & Fine Furniture, Best Budget Inn and Best Value Water Tree Inn for temporary stays in the area.