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Career and Education Opportunities for Paralegals in Modesto, California

If you want to be a paralegal, the Modesto, California area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. 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 nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for paralegals are expected to grow by about 13.9%. Paralegals generally assist lawyers or judges by researching or preparing legal documents.

A person working as a paralegal can expect to earn about $18 hourly or $38,440 yearly on average in California and about $17 per hour or $37,130 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for paralegals are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Representation in California and not quite as good as general Representation category earnings nationally. People working as paralegals can fill a number of jobs, such as: law clerk, attorney law clerk, and chancery clerk.

There are twenty-one schools of higher education in the Modesto area, including two within twenty-five miles of Modesto where you can get a degree to start your career 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 Modesto 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

University of the Pacific - Stockton, CA

University of the Pacific, 3601 Pacific Ave, Stockton, CA 95211-0197. University of the Pacific is a medium sized university located in Stockton, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,251 students and an admission rate of 69%. University of the Pacific has a doctor's degree program in Law which graduated 294 students in 2008.

Humphreys College-Stockton - Stockton, CA

Humphreys College-Stockton, 6650 Inglewood Ave, Stockton, CA 95207-3896. Humphreys College-Stockton is a small college located in Stockton, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 811 students. Humphreys College-Stockton has a professional degree program in Law which graduated ten students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Modesto, California

Modesto, California
Modesto, California photo by Foolishfish

Modesto is located in Stanislaus County, California. It has a population of over 202,967, which has grown by 7.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Modesto, 91, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Modesto cost $208,400 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirteen new homes were constructed in Modesto, down from two hundred eighty-five the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Modesto are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 26 minutes. More than 16.5% of Modesto residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 5.3%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Modesto is 14.4%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Modesto residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 43.7%, is less than both the national and state average. Livingway Tabernacle, Seventh Day Adventist Church and Bethel Pentecostal Church are all churches located in Modesto. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Salvation Army and the Assemblies of God.

Modesto is home to the King-Kennedy Center and the McClure Historical Country House as well as Muncy Park and John Muir Park. Shopping malls in the area include Roosevelt Shopping Center, Gregory Gardens Shopping Center and Western Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Modesto can choose from Best Western Town House Lodge, Apex Inn and Arrow Inn for temporary stays in the area.