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Career and Education Opportunities for Paralegals in Irvine, California

Irvine, California provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for paralegals. There are currently 4,400 jobs for paralegals in California and this is projected to grow 5% to 4,600 jobs 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. Paralegals generally assist lawyers or judges by researching or preparing legal documents.

Paralegals earn approximately $18 per hour or $38,440 per year on average in California. Nationally they average about $17 per hour or $37,130 annually. 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: summer law associate, closing agent, and judicial clerk.

The Irvine area is home to 112 schools of higher education, including four within twenty-five miles of Irvine where you can get a degree as a paralegal. The most common level of education for paralegals is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree. It will take about two years to learn 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 Irvine 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

Trinity Law and Graduate School - Santa Ana, CA

Trinity Law and Graduate School, 2200 N Grand Ave, Santa Ana, CA 92705. Trinity Law and Graduate School is a small school located in Santa Ana, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 137 students. Trinity Law and Graduate School has a professional degree program in Law which graduated fifty students in 2008.

Whittier College - Whittier, CA

Whittier College, 13406 E Philadelphia Street, Whittier, CA 90601. Whittier College is a small college located in Whittier, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,895 students and an admission rate of 72%. Whittier College has a professional degree program in Law which graduated 163 students in 2008.

Chapman University - Orange, CA

Chapman University, One University Dr., Orange, CA 92866. Chapman University is a medium sized university located in Orange, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,131 students and an admission rate of 50%. Chapman University has a professional degree program in Law which graduated 182 students in 2008.

Western State University-College of Law-Argosy - Fullerton, CA

Western State University-College of Law-Argosy, 1111 N State College Blvd, Fullerton, CA 92831-3014. Western State University-College of Law-Argosy is a small university located in Fullerton, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 390 students. Western State University-College of Law-Argosy has a professional degree program in Law which graduated 108 students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Irvine, California

Irvine, California
Irvine, California photo by SoCal L.A.

Irvine is situated in Orange County, California. It has a population of over 207,500, which has grown by 45.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Irvine, 136, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Irvine are valued at $283,000 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, one hundred twenty-five new homes were built in Irvine, down from two hundred twenty-nine the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Irvine are educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and health care. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, educational services, and computer and electronic products. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 58.4% of Irvine residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 24.2%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Irvine is 7.3%, which is less than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Irvine residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 44.8%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Charismatic Churches Independent.

Irvine is home to the International Raceway and the Heritage Park Library as well as Heritage Park and Alderwood Park. Shopping centers in the area include Heritage Plaza Shopping Center, Alton Square Shopping Center and Arbor Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Irvine can choose from Atrium Hotel At Orange County Airport and Amerilodge Electronics for temporary stays in the area.