6 Reasons Why Technology Skills are Important to a Paralegal’s Career

6 Reasons Why Technology Skills are Important to a Paralegal’s Career

Technology’s importance in everyday life and business continues to grow by leaps and bounds. It has revolutionized the way legal processes function, creating a wonderful career opportunity for a paralegal with excellent technology skills. Embracing paralegal technology skills can lead to a rewarding paralegal career with expanded responsibilities and higher earning potential.

Changing rules

According to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the courts expect attorneys and their support team (including paralegals) to be up to date on electronically stored information (ESI). Since paralegals are usually assigned discovery tasks, it is crucial that they understand ESI and e-discovery.

Ethics and professional conduct

The evolving landscape of paralegal tech necessitates a continuous commitment to ethics and professional conduct in the legal profession. The American Bar Association in 2012 amended its Model Rule of Professional Conduct to include technological knowledge in a legal professional’s obligation to keep client information confidential.

In California, Formal Ethics Opinion No. 2015-193 details tasks that attorneys and paralegals must comply with to ethically and competently represent their clients (in terms of technology).

Efficiency and cost control

Integrating paralegal technology skills into everyday tasks can significantly enhance efficiency and contribute to cost control within a law firm. Legal technology costs have diminished over the last 10 years, but the greatest expense is in processing, storing and searching for data. The cost for each case is different, so it is important for a paralegal to be aware of technology tools that can reduce both firm and client costs.

Having electronic information that is accessible to those who need it increases the efficiency of the legal process.

Value to employers and clients 

Demonstrating proficiency in paralegal tech adds value to both employers and clients, as paralegals become indispensable assets in navigating modern legal challenges. A paralegal who is technologically skilled is an asset to a law firm. Attorneys are busy people who rely on paralegals to search databases, do research electronically and keep abreast of new rules that are updated electronically.

If a paralegal knows where to go to quickly and gather information a lawyer or client needs, he or she is performing a valuable service.

ESI overload

Managing ESI overload demands comprehensive paralegal technology skills to ensure thorough access, retrieval, and management of electronically stored information. Paralegals and other law professionals must know how to access, retrieve and manage ESI to protect their clients.

ESI includes emails, Word files, spreadsheets, digital photos, videos, texts and IMs, call logs, voicemails, database records and social media postings that can be found in computer hard drives, network servers, USB drives,  databases and mobile devices and on social media websites.

Career opportunity and higher salaries

Recognizing the pivotal role of paralegal technology skills in today’s legal landscape opens doors to new career opportunities and the potential for higher salaries in specialized fields such as e-discovery and legal project management. The rise of technology has created expanded responsibilities – and new job titles – for paralegals. Increasing your technology skill set can also increase your salary. New career opportunities are appearing for paralegals who specialize in e-discovery and legal project management.

Your salary (and value) can go up if you are able to combine legal expertise and advanced technology skills in litigation, information governance, compliance and cybersecurity.

How to increase your technology skill set

Enhancing paralegal tech proficiency is paramount to advancing your career prospects and securing higher-paying opportunities in the legal industry. There are several easy ways to make yourself invaluable to the legal industry as a paralegal, but being technically savvy is one of the best. Here are easy ways you can boost your skills:

  • Learn the legal technical vocabulary
  • Volunteer to work on e-Discovery and seek additional training
  • Accept offers from vendors who demonstrate litigation software
  • Read industry blogs and sign up for free webinars on changes in legal technology
  • Be proactive
  • Find a mentor to help you learn more about technology

Paralegal Studies Degree Program

Pursuing a paralegal career means staying ahead of the curve in paralegal technology skills, making programs like Campus's Paralegal Studies Degree Program invaluable for aspiring legal professionals. If you want to start a rewarding career in the legal field, Campus, formerly known as MTI College, offers a fully online Paralegal Studies program for eligible students.

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Campus paralegal program

If you’re fascinated by the legal world but becoming an attorney is not on your immediate radar, consider registering for the ABA-approved online paralegal studies program at Campus.

It gives you the education you need to work in a law firm, government agency or corporate legal department, assisting lawyers and performing many of the same duties.

The Campus paralegal program provides you with the minimum requirements to become a paralegal. In just two years, or less, you can earn your associate’s degree in paralegal studies and head out to begin a career in a field that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says is growing.

Note: The data provided above are from a source unaffiliated with Campus, are for informational purposes only and represent the employment field as a whole. They are not solely specific to Campus graduates and, by providing the above information, Campus makes no representation, direct or implied, or opinion regarding employability.

ABA Approved Paralegal Program

If you have the interest and the necessary personal traits to become a paralegal, enroll now in the Campus Paralegal program for the education you need to get that important first job.