A Foreign Language Paralegal Can Have A Very Successful Career
As a foreign language paralegal you will have a bright future as more immigrants move to the United States and need legal services. A foreign language paralegal can work as an immigration paralegal who specializes in immigration law. Although the majority of foreign language paralegal positions will be for Spanish speaking paralegals, any foreign language skills will be a welcome asset. The United States attracts people from all over the world and the need for legal services for these immigrants is high as they need to maintain and update their status as resident aliens or seek citizenship.
Education Requirements for a Foreign Language Paralegal
The education requirements for a foreign language paralegal vary from a certificate to a four year degree. Additional training in a foreign language above and beyond paralegal training is advisable if you do not already speak a foreign language.
What Does a Foreign Language Paralegal Do?
One of the most important duties of a paralegal who speaks a foreign language may be to translate for an attorney’s clients. If the attorney does not speak the same language as his or her client, a foreign language paralegal can acts as a go-between to help the attorney and client understand one another. A foreign language paralegal may take care of the filing of the various visa and labor certifications for his or her clients. These include:
• B-1 and B-2 Business and Tourist Visas
• E-1 and E-2 Visas for treaty traders and investors
• H-1B, H-2B and H-3 Visas for agricultural workers and specialty workers
• K-1 Visa for fiancés
• L-1 Visa for transfers of intra-company workers
• Student Visas
• Exchange visitors and scholars with a J-1 Visa
• Temporary worker visas, the O, P or R Visas
• PERM (Program Electronic Review Management) Visa
Other duties of a foreign language paralegal may include the basic duties of a paralegal. Although only attorneys can represent clients in court and give legal advice, a paralegal can assist attorneys in many ways.
• Gather and file evidence
• Interview witnesses
• Collect affidavits
• Case investigation
• Legal research
• Locate witnesses
• Draft legal documents such as wills, divorce decrees and adoption papers
• Assist the attorney in court
Income Potential for a Foreign Language Paralegal
As with all paralegals income may depend on the level of education you have and the area of the country that you work. As of May 2008 the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that paralegal incomes were as follows:
• Average salary was $46,120
• The middle 50 percent was $36,030 and $59,310
• The bottom 10 percent earned below $29,000
• The top 10 percent earned $73,000 and above
As a foreign language paralegal you may earn more because of your language skills and specialization in immigration law.
Jobs in the paralegal field are projected to grow faster than most job sectors through the next decade. As more people come to the United States to find work and attend colleges and universities, a foreign language paralegal can find that he or she has a very successful career assisting attorneys with their clients that do not speak English.
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