Q&A: Can a Librarian With Skills in Reference, Research, and Other Areas Potentially Become a Good Paralegal?

Question (as asked):

“With times being as tough as they are, and job opportunities not being great, I’m considering getting certified as a paralegal. It seems from what I’ve read so far that a Librarian’s skills could translate well into a paralegal’s duties, and I wanted to ask if anyone has any knowledge, experience, or opinion in the matter.

Does being a Librarian with skills in research and reference and other areas mean such a person could potentially make a good paralegal? And if so, does anyone recommend a particular course of action over another for getting certification or experience?”

Summary of Responses:

On the positive side:

People who thought it was a good idea stressed how the fit is basically a natural one, how a librarian’s and a paralegal’s skills complemented one another.

Education was a major point, how someone could work while getting the necessary certificate(check your state’s requirements–they vary.)

The “immediate return” on a paralegal certificate was also stressed,
how once you have it, doors could potentially open right up.

On the negative side:

More than one person described work that was more administrative than it was library-related. Little research, reference, or other type work. Often work was more like that of a court runner, updating clients, making copies, and the like.

Others describing their situations more often than not went in the direction of being law librarians–more reasonable hours, more work that they wanted to do, and more respect.

Lots more was written, of course. But those are the types of points I focused on.

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