With the Canadian economy on the rebound, many companies located throughout the country are growing. Law firms are no exception to this trend - in fact, litigation is one industry that is predicted to see the most growth in the coming months, according to the Robert Half Legal Hiring Index.
Approximately 33 percent of lawyers claimed that they plan on hiring full-time professionals during the final quarter of 2012, and many more are optimistic about the opportunities in the field. Over 85 percent of lawyers are confident in their organisation's prospects for growth during the last three months of the year.
"While some law firms remain cautious about hiring in an uncertain economy, others, such as small and midsize law firms, are making strategic hires to meet client requests and increase their profitability, said John Ohnjec, division director of Robert Half Legal in Canada.
One of the main ways a law firm can help improve client relations and productivity is by hiring the right kind of support staff. Employees such as paralegals are necessary to assist attorneys with courtroom preparation, research and the drafting of documents. The responsibilities of this position are high, but with the proper training students can become talented and successful paralegals.
Many of the firms involved in this study reported that paralegals were among the most in-demand positions. There is a good reason for this, as paralegals are necessary to aid in the day-to-day functions of litigation services. The need and competition for paralegals can make it difficult to find top talent, however, with 62 percent of respondents saying that finding the right employees is a challenge.
There are certain skills that aspiring paralegals should develop before entering the field. While some come from experience, others can be picked up with paralegal training courses at an Alberta college. Most of these programs feature courses on the many types of law practiced as well as the procedures that tie into those fields.
Classes can educate students as to the ins-and-outs of the legal world, and ideal paralegals with have strong skills that centre around research, communication and organization. With so many opportunities available in law, interested students should consider pursuing a career in the industry.