When you become a paralegal, you can work as a generalist, helping attorneys with a variety of legal matters, or you can focus on a particular type of law. Many paralegals who take the route of specializing in one area of law choose to work as bankruptcy paralegals, assisting bankruptcy lawyers with their caseloads. If you decide to pursue this career, you will play an important role in helping ease clients’ minds by walking them through the legal process of filing for bankruptcy protection under the law.
EDUCATION AND SKILLS NEEDED TO WORK AS A BANKRUPTCY PARALEGAL
The path to a successful career as a bankruptcy attorney begins with a formal education. Earning your associate degree in paralegal studies will show prospective employers that you have the drive and dedication to learn, and that you are committed to your career goals. Look for an accredited degree program that includes skills-based training as well as foundational courses in legal research, ethics, critical thinking, and legal principles and practices.
In addition to understanding how to conduct legal research and possessing excellent communication skills, bankruptcy paralegals must be detail-oriented and effective multitaskers. It is also helpful to understand federal and state bankruptcy laws, types of financial products, and general financial concepts and principles — as paralegals working for bankruptcy attorneys help clients with complicated financial situations.
WHAT DO BANKRUPTCY PARALEGALS DO?
When you enter this field, you can expect to handle a wide range of tasks on a daily basis.
A typical bankruptcy paralegal job description includes the following responsibilities:
- Conducting legal research
- Meeting with the firm’s clients
- Research clients’ accounts
- Managing and organizing client files
- Preparing and filing bankruptcy petitions
- Write claims and other documents
- Corresponding with clients and other parties
WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT FROM A BANKRUPTCY PARALEGAL JOB?
Working as a bankruptcy paralegal is a job that can provide lifelong career satisfaction, as well as personal satisfaction. As a bankruptcy paralegal, you will work to help the firm’s clients get back on their feet financially, sometimes after years spent trying to manage crushing debt.
Your bankruptcy paralegal salary will depend on a number of factors, including the geographic part of the country you work. Paralegals in greater Chicagoland generally earn more than paralegals who work for more rural attorneys. Compensation is also usually based on your experience and qualifications for the job. As of 2020, the national median pay for paralegals was $52,920 per year. In Chicago, the annual mean wage in 2020 was slightly higher, at $62,016 per year.
CHOOSE MACCORMAC COLLEGE’S PARALEGAL STUDIES PROGRAM
At MacCormac College in Chicago, we have been training these and many other types of paralegals since 1973. Our Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies degree program incorporates the legal skills training and subject matter knowledge you need to succeed, whatever type of paralegal role you ultimately pursue.
Our Paralegal Studies program, which is offered through daytime and/or evening classes, was designed with busy working adults in mind. In fact, the degree program can be completed in as little as 16 months. The path to starting an exciting and rewarding career is closer than you think!
Please note that paralegals may not practice law or otherwise provide legal services directly to the public except as permitted by law.