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Launching Your Career as a Corporate Paralegal

Published on: Nov 5, 2023

Becoming a corporate paralegal can be an ideal career path for those who enjoy business subject matter, such as finance issues, securities, contracts, bankruptcy, patents, and trademarks. This position generally works under the supervision of a lawyer in a private corporation, helps with crucial case preparation, and may even assist compliance teams on legal problems related to the organization’s business interests.  

To learn more about this position and how to pursue a career as a corporate paralegal, the following guide will take you through everything you need to know.

Corporate Paralegal Responsibilities and Roles

Although a corporate paralegal specifically works on matters dealing with corporate laws, these paralegals are also familiar with many aspects of business, including bankruptcy, contracts, finance, trademarks, securities, and patents. As a result, some of the more common roles and responsibilities this position has includes the following: 

  • Review legislation and rules that could potentially impact the company’s processes and operations

  • Keep track of changing regulations and the implications of regulatory changes for the company and its future

  • Prepare and review corporate legal documents regarding corporate formations, private equity, mergers and acquisitions, and dissolutions

  • Provide updates to company leadership regarding proposed and new legislation that can affect the business

  • Assist with making changes and reviewing changes to contracts

  • File and maintain corporate records, such as board of director changes, resolutions, and annual reports

  • Provide support for other legal professionals regarding issues related to mediation, arbitration, litigation, and responses to complaints and discovery requests

  • Draft legal documents and prepare non-disclosure agreements

  • Maintain and help with renewal proceedings for company licensing

  • Help legal teams with intellectual property matters, filings, and claims

  • Manage, prepare, and file documents related to business entities, partnerships, incorporation, limited liability corporations, and subsidiaries

  • Help with the preparation of SEC filings, IPO documents, and other required financial legal documents

  • Research lawsuits and other legal disputes, compliance tracking, and transaction support 

It is important to note that the duties of a corporate paralegal position may vary depending on the specific corporate paralegal job. Therefore, individuals seeking employment as a corporate paralegal should thoroughly review a position’s job description and responsibilities to better understand the duties and what the corporate paralegal does daily.

Educational and Certification Requirements

Many employers searching for a corporate paralegal require candidates to possess at least an associate's degree in Paralegal Studies. Depending on the position or the firm, a bachelor's degree and certificate in Paralegal Studies may also be necessary. Some firms may even ask for individuals looking for a corporate paralegal position to have familiarity with corporate laws and issues or have prior experience working with contracts or other corporate matters. That is why it is recommended that individuals seeking a position as a corporate paralegal have a certificate in paralegal studies from an ABA-approved paralegal program at a minimum.

For further training, checking with different paralegal associations may also be worthwhile. For example, theNational Federation of Paralegal Associations offers an Advanced Corporate Law Specialty Certificate that requires individuals to complete courses relevant to corporate law, including contract law, advanced corporate law, and intellectual property law.

Key Skills and Attributes for Success

Some various skills and attributes can help set up a corporate paralegal for success, including the following:

  • Strong communication and negotiation skills

  • Organization skills, as they can help individuals manage cases, review compliance issues, and ensure tasks are completed effectively

  • Research and writing skills

  • Strong attention to detail

  • Experience with certain software and technologies, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and eFiling

  • Multi-tasking skills

  • Understanding corporate governance, project management, and financial issues

  • Knowledge of specific legal concepts such as mergers and acquisitions, due diligence, corporate governance, legal documentation, litigation, legal research, contract preparation, and securities

Working as a corporate paralegal can be a rewarding career option for those interested in the legal industry but do not want to become a lawyer or attend law school. Corporate paralegals have many critical responsibilities and provide legal support to law firms, government agencies, private businesses, and other organizations by utilizing diverse skills. However, if you want to get ahead in this field, gaining knowledge about the necessary skills for this role can help you enhance your qualifications, improve your chances of being hired, and craft an impressive resume when applying for a position in corporate law.

Corporate Paralegal Career Path and Advancement Opportunities

Individuals seeking employment as corporate paralegals typically begin their careers in an entry-level position or through an internship that provides them with experience in corporate law. This experience enables corporate paralegals to prepare paperwork for mergers and acquisitions, draft legal documents, conduct legal research, file corporate paperwork, take minutes during meetings, and work with outside counsel.

As these individuals gain more experience, they may have opportunities for career advancement. However, the availability of advancement opportunities will depend on various factors such as the position, employer, education, experience, and individual aspirations. For instance, as corporate paralegals gain more experience, they may be promoted to senior corporate paralegals. While some duties may overlap, the senior position is often expected to work a higher level of experience and be more involved in client work at a more strategic level.

Moreover, some paralegals may specialize in certain areas of corporate law, such as mergers and acquisitions or securities, to advance within their current law firm. Others may choose to attend law school and become licensed attorneys or work for a governmental agency.

Corporate Paralegal Salary Expectations and Job Market Trends

The average annual pay for a corporate paralegal is around $71,376, but these salaries can range anywhere from $33,500 to $108,500. However, if individuals are looking for a job as a corporate paralegal, searching in major business hubs can increase their chances of securing a corporate paralegal position for more money. For instance, the highest-paying cities for corporate paralegals include the following:

  • Santa Monica, California, with an average salary of $120,499 per year

  • Los Angeles, California, with an average salary of $119,883 per year

  • San Francisco, California, with an average salary of $118,400 per year

  • Boston, Massachusetts, with an average salary of $105,624 per year

  • Chicago, Illinois, with an average salary of $99,198 per year

  • New York, New York, with an average salary of $97,983 per year

Securing a Position as a Corporate Paralegal

Becoming a corporate paralegal can be an amazing opportunity if you have the necessary skills and qualifications. However, it is important to remember that the job can be challenging and involve significant responsibility. Nevertheless, becoming a corporate paralegal is worth considering if you are searching for a legal job that offers both challenges and opportunities. To get started on this exciting paralegal career path, review the following steps:

Complete an Internship or Start in an Entry Level Position 

Consider completing an internship or entry-level position in the legal field to develop relevant skills, such as file clerks, legal secretaries, office assistants, or municipal court assistants, that you can include on your resume. This can also enable you to gain experience in a law firm, which is highly valuable to employers looking for candidates for a corporate paralegal position.

Create a Detailed Resume 

Creating a specialized resume highlighting your most relevant credentials can help you stand out among other candidates. Corporate paralegals are often responsible for drafting critical legal documents and having excellent writing and proofreading skills. As a result, you should showcase your attention to detail by ensuring that your resume is easy to read and error-free. You may also want to review the job description and tailor the resume to each corporate role you are applying to

Prepare for the Interview

The interview process is crucial for those interested in becoming a corporate paralegal. You should use this opportunity to highlight your prior experience in managing complex business projects and dealing with challenging business tasks and showcase your legal knowledge in the field. It is also important to provide examples of instances where you have met challenging deadlines and supported busy teams to showcase your competency. Finally, research potential interview questions and prepare answers that can help you come across as knowledgeable and confident. 

Networking and Professional Development

Networking provides a great opportunity for individuals to enter the legal field and meet other legal professionals, such as corporate paralegals and attorneys. These connections can help advance one's career, boost visibility, establish a solid professional profile, and help create a reputation as a knowledgeable, trustworthy, and supportive individual.

Networking also enables individuals to increase their knowledge and develop their professional goals and skills. This is because meeting individuals who have more experience can be an excellent way to learn and grow. For example, joining theNALA, The Paralegal Association, allows people to find like-minded professionals to help them advance in their careers as corporate paralegals.

Continue Your Job Search By Looking Into Further Education and Training

A corporate paralegal plays a vital role in a corporation's legal department. This position assists legal professionals in various corporate law aspects, from handling paperwork to representing the corporation in court proceedings. Corporate paralegals also offer services in corporate litigation procedures and other specific business legal needs. They may attend corporate meetings, prepare corporate resolutions, and perform similar tasks to ensure that the corporation runs smoothly within the legal framework.

If you want to secure a job as a corporate paralegal or want to know more about the position, continue researching education and training options to help you seize opportunities for growth in the corporate legal field.

About the Authors

Written by:

Kasia Nelson, Esq.

Kasia Nelson is a licensed attorney and skilled legal content writer with years of experience. With a background in corporate immigration law, she is well-versed in the intricacies of producing legally accurate and well-researched work. 


  • Michigan State University, B.S.

  • Western Michigan University – Cooley Law School, J.D.

Law Licensures

  • Michigan

Kasia Nelson

Kasia Nelson, Esq.


Education: Western Michigan University – Cooley Law School, J.D.

Knowledge: Corporate Immigration Law

Reviewed by:

Ryan P. Duffy, Esq.

Ryan P. Duffy is an attorney licensed to practice law in New Jersey, North Carolina, and South Carolina. His practice focuses primarily on Estate Planning, Personal Injury, and Business law. 

Law Licensures

  • New Jersey

  • Pennsylvania (inactive)

  • South Carolina

  • North Carolina

Ryan Duffy

Ryan P. Duffy, Esq.

Editorial Lead

Education: Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, J.D.

Knowledge: Estate Planning