• Careers & Employment Outlook

    Graduates of the Legal Professions Program will have valuable skills that are marketable across the country. Graduates may find employment locally in public and private legal services both in criminal and civil procedures. Local law firms also employ Legal Professions students on a part-time basis while the student is enrolled at Del Mar College.

    Paralegal Specialization
    Employment for paralegals/legal assistants is expected to grow faster than average and provide a wide variety of career paths. Employment opportunities are with attorneys in private law firms, government agencies, corporate legal departments, banks, and title companies. Many have direct client contact and are involved in substantive aspects of the law. Paralegals perform a variety of tasks including filing documents with the appropriate court(s), preparing legal documents, interviewing clients and witnesses, investigating facts of a case, doing legal research, and assisting the attorney at trial. Average salary for Paralegals in the Corpus Christi area is $48,600 as reported by Certified Compensation Professionals at about.salary.com.

    Legal Secretary Specialization
    Most legal secretaries work for attorneys in private law firms. Many, however, are employed in government agencies, corporate legal departments, banks, colleges, universities, professional schools, and title companies. Many have direct client contact and are involved in important and challenging aspects of client service. Legal secretaries perform a variety of tasks in a law firm.

    A legal secretary's tasks may include filing documents with the appropriate court(s), generating legal documents, interviewing clients and witnesses, investigating facts of a case, and doing legal research.

    In Corpus Christi the average salary for a legal secretary is approximately $33,000 according to Certified Compensation Professionals at about.salary.com.

    Employment change: Employment of paralegals and legal assistants is projected to grow 28 percent between 2008 and 2018, much faster than the average for all occupations. Employers are trying to reduce costs and increase the availability and efficiency of legal services by hiring paralegals to perform tasks once done by lawyers. Paralegals are performing a wider variety of duties, making them more useful to businesses.

    Job prospects: In addition to new jobs created by employment growth, more job openings will arise as people leave the occupation. There will be demand for paralegals who specialize in areas such as real estate, bankruptcy, medical malpractice, and product liability. Community legal service programs, which provide assistance to the poor, elderly, minorities, and middle-income families, will employ additional paralegals to minimize expenses and serve the most people. Job opportunities also are expected in Federal, State, and local government agencies, consumer organizations, and the courts. However, this occupation attracts many applicants, creating competition for jobs. Experienced, formally trained paralegals should have the best job prospects.

    Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, Paralegals and Legal Assistants, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos114.htm (visited October 24, 2011)