So you like the law, but you’re not into being a lawyer, or you just haven’t gotten there yet. Now you’ve got quite a bit of experience as a paralegal, but the economy has tanked, and even your plan B is losing its appeal. You’re in luck! Here are five great ways to use your experience as a paralegal in a completely different field!
First, let’s break down your skill set as a paralegal. You’re incredibly organized, great at communicating, have meticulous attention to detail, skilled at writing and editing, and you take direction well. When you define your experience as transferable skills, you can finally see how prepared you are for a variety of fields!
1. Document Manager
Your meticulous attention to detail can take you to any number of organizational roles, including document management. Various fields, including accounting, bookkeeping, health care administration, and sales require an organized individual to keep track of invoices, manage contracts, and write and edit sales copy. Even technology, communications, insurance and pharmaceutical companies require someone with a professional writing tone to create compelling sales copy or legal contracts.
These jobs might not be the most flexible options, but the benefits and pay are generally pretty comfortable. You can often segue directly into a document management position from a paralegal, and enjoy a cushy raise in the process.
2. Technical Writer or Researcher
Your days spent tirelessly researching the law, or fact checking can be parleyed into any field as a technical research or writer. From online marketing agencies to bio tech companies, technical writers are few and far between. With your experience reading, writing, and editing contracts, and even understanding the style of copy used in law, you can easily find a company looking for a skilled technical writer.
Good writers are hard to find, but good researchers and technical writers are few and far between the good writers. It takes a professional to ignore colloquialisms and personal tones, which is a skill you’ve mastered as a paralegal. While you’ll have to conduct interviews and perhaps spend time researching complex products or patents, your time is your own, and you can organize your day however you’d like.
3. Leadership and Event Management Positions
Have you ever considered being a team leader at summer camp? Executive director of a non-profit? Office administrator to a start-up? Event planner for a huge corporation? Well, if you do, you’ll find numerous positions just begging for someone with your skill set. If you’re feeling like an ambitious entrepreneur, your organizational skills are a must-have accessory for all kinds of start-ups. If you’re looking for enjoyment over pay, considering consulting for local non-profits. They’re always in dire need of organizational help, and they lose money each year just by allowing things to slip through the cracks. If you are a little more of a planner, consider even planning. Your teamwork and people skills will help you lead your team to plan and execute events on any scale.
4. Public Relations Associate
Communication is definitely one of your strong suits. From taking statements of witnesses, interviewing clients, contacting experts, dealing with court reporters, or doing on-the-job research, a large majority of your day as a paralegal was spent communicating with people from all walks of life. Now you can take that to the next stage of your life as a publicist or public relations specialist! Combine your excellent communications skills with your up-to-date technology knowledge and you’re in business!
Publicists and those in the field of public relations have to spin something newsworthy into something newsworthy and interesting. It is important to make contacts and network, while remaining true to the client’s best interests. While you will need to add a little oomph to your sales techniques, getting your clients noticed is primarily working the network with your amazing skills of communication. Now that PR is all about Web 2.0, you can use your knowledge of programs and online progress to perfect your clients’ campaigns. From corporations to celebrities, to all the mom and pop shops in between, your paralegal experience will take you far in public relations!
5. Detective/ Detective Assistant
It goes without saying that you have an acquisitive nature, so heading into law enforcement and detective work might be the perfect segue for you post-paralegal. Detective assistants spend hours researching and organizing information, evidence, and files to not only maintain order, but also to solve cases with intricate details. Now you might not spend every day bashing bad guys on the streets Stabler-style, but you will get to see the intricate workings of the law, possibly from a comfortable desk somewhere!