Career and Education Opportunities for Paralegals in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Many educational and employment opportunities exist for paralegals in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area. About 2,550 people are currently employed as paralegals in Pennsylvania. By 2016, this is expected to shrink 7% to about 2,350 people employed. 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.
The income of a paralegal is about $18 per hour or $38,210 per year on average in Pennsylvania. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $17 per hour or $37,130 annually on average. Earnings for paralegals are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Representation in Pennsylvania and not quite as good as general Representation category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: judicial clerk, chancery clerk, and summer law associate.
The Philadelphia area is home to 156 schools of higher education, including five within twenty-five miles of Philadelphia 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 Philadelphia 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
Temple University - Philadelphia, PA
Temple University, 1801 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122-6096. Temple University is a large university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 35,343 students and an admission rate of 61%. Temple University has a professional degree program in Law which graduated 296 students in 2008.
Rutgers University-Camden - Camden, NJ
Rutgers University-Camden, 406 Penn, Camden, NJ 08102. Rutgers University-Camden is a medium sized university located in Camden, New Jersey. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,398 students and an admission rate of 51%. Rutgers University-Camden has a professional degree program in Law which graduated 278 students in 2008.
University of Pennsylvania - Philadelphia, PA
University of Pennsylvania, 1 College Hall 34th and Spruce Sts, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6303. University of Pennsylvania is a large university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 24,060 students and an admission rate of 17%. University of Pennsylvania has a professional degree program in Law which graduated 257 students in 2008.
Widener University-Delaware Campus - Wilmington, DE
Widener University-Delaware Campus, 4601 Concord Pike, Wilmington, DE 19803. Widener University-Delaware Campus is a small university located in Wilmington, Delaware. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,211 students. Widener University-Delaware Campus has a doctor's degree program in Law which graduated 266 students in 2008.
Villanova University - Villanova, PA
Villanova University, 800 Lancaster Avenue, Villanova, PA 19085-1699. Villanova University is a large university located in Villanova, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,295 students and an admission rate of 39%. Villanova University has a professional degree program in Law which graduated 226 students in 2008.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia is located in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 1,447,395, which has shrunk by 4.6% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Philadelphia, 102, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Philadelphia cost $212,900 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, five hundred forty-five new homes were constructed in Philadelphia, down from five hundred ninety-one the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Philadelphia are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, educational services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 32 minutes. More than 17.9% of Philadelphia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.5%, is lower than the state average.
The percentage of Philadelphia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 53.4%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Boulevard Church, Mount Herman Church and Saint Michael Mission Center are all churches located in Philadelphia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the American Baptist Churches in the USA and the Muslim Estimate.
Philadelphia is home to the Five Points and the Academy Gardens as well as Durham Park and Cloverly Park. Shopping malls in the area include Roosevelt Mall, Andorra Shopping Center and Red Lion Shopping Center. Visitors to Philadelphia can choose from Comfort Inn, Concordia Worldwide Hotel Reservations and Embassy Suites for temporary stays in the area.