Career and Education Opportunities for Paralegals in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Paralegal career and educational opportunities abound in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Currently, 320 people work as paralegals in North Carolina. This is expected to grow by 12% to 350 people 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 about $15 hourly or $32,580 yearly on average in North Carolina and about $17 per hour or $37,130 per year on average nationally. Incomes for paralegals are not quite as good as in the overall category of Representation in North Carolina, and not quite as good as the overall Representation category nationally. Jobs in this field include: clerk to justice, law clerk, and staff attorney.
The Winston-Salem area is home to eighteen schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Winston-Salem where you can get a degree as a paralegal. 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 training to become 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 Winston-Salem 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
Wake Forest University - Winston Salem, NC
Wake Forest University, 1834 Wake Forest Road, Winston Salem, NC 27106. Wake Forest University is a medium sized university located in Winston Salem, North Carolina. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,862 students and an admission rate of 38%. Wake Forest University has a professional degree program in Law which graduated 149 students in 2008.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Winston-Salem is situated in Forsyth County, North Carolina. It has a population of over 217,600, which has grown by 17.1% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Winston-Salem, 83, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Winston-Salem cost $76,600 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, 1,032 new homes were built in Winston-Salem, down from 1,706 the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Winston-Salem are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, health care, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 20 minutes. More than 30.3% of Winston-Salem residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 11.0%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Winston-Salem is 9.0%, which is less than North Carolina's average of 10.6%.
The percentage of Winston-Salem residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 50.4%, is more than both the national and state average. Wachovia Arbor Church, Mount Zion Church and Hope Church are all churches located in Winston-Salem. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Moravian Church in America.
Winston-Salem is home to the Stafford Center and the Dixie Classics Fairgrounds as well as Forest Park and Mineral Springs Park. Shopping centers in the area include College Plaza Shopping Center, College Village Shopping Center and Club Haven Shopping Center.