Career and Education Opportunities for Paralegals in Waco, Texas
For those living in the Waco, Texas area, there are many career and education opportunities for paralegals. There are currently 3,620 jobs for paralegals in Texas and this is projected to grow 8% to about 3,900 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.
Paralegals earn approximately $16 per hour or $33,340 annually on average in Texas. Nationally they average about $17 per hour or $37,130 yearly. Paralegals earn less than people working in the category of Representation generally in Texas and less than people in the Representation category nationally. Jobs in this field include: judicial clerk, closing agent, and principal law clerk.
There is one school within twenty-five miles of Waco where you can study to be a paralegal, among seven schools of higher education total in the Waco area. Paralegals usually hold an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, so 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 Waco 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
Baylor University - Waco, TX
Baylor University, 500 Speight Ave., Waco, TX 76798. Baylor University is a large university located in Waco, Texas. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 14,541 students and an admission rate of 51%. Baylor University has a professional degree program in Law which graduated 158 students in 2008.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Waco, Texas
Waco is situated in Mclennan County, Texas. It has a population of over 124,009, which has grown by 9.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Waco, 82, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Waco are valued at $144,900 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-eight new homes were built in Waco, down from five hundred fifty the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Waco are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, educational services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 18 minutes. More than 18.6% of Waco residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Waco is 7.4%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.
The percentage of Waco residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 60.5%, is more than both the national and state average. El Calvario Presbyterian Church, Abundant New Life Assembly of God Church and Adams Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church are among the churches located in Waco. The most prominent religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.
Waco is home to the Helen Marie Taylor Museum and the Potts Interchange as well as Heart O Texas Coliseum and Kathy Ball Park. Shopping malls in the area include Lake Air Shopping Center and Richland Shopping Center. Visitors to Waco can choose from Budget Inn, America's Best Inns and Best Western Old Main Lodge for temporary stays in the area.