Critical and Analytical Thinking Skills: The Cornerstones of Paralegal Work
Published on August 2, 2017 by Broadview University
Paralegal work, which began in the 1960s, has evolved into an extraordinary and in-demand career path. Accomplished paralegals know that their success is built on both critical and analytical thinking.
What Is a Paralegal?
Paralegals work in tandem with licensed lawyers who supervise their work and are held responsible for their professional conduct. As a paralegal, it is your job to provide meaningful and indispensable support to litigators and law offices. You will be responsible for the necessary paperwork and research of legal precedents and be actively involved in investigatory work on all kinds of litigation.
Paralegals can seek certificates and degrees in a variety of programs: two-year associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees, or master’s degrees with IT and software training. More class hours of study afford students the opportunity to choose specialties in fields such as business, finance, immigration, real estate, intellectual property management, and corporate contracts.
Paralegals Use Critical and Analytical Thinking in Tandem
As a paralegal, you will learn to habitually think clearly using both critical and analytical thinking processes. Your critical thinking ability allows you to reflect on factual information and use logic to form fair and equitable judgements. Analytical thinking is what you use to collect and evaluate information so you can make well-informed, rational decisions.
Solve Problems Rationally through Critical Thinking
Critical thinking involves analyzing facts clearly and rationally. Critical thinkers are reflective and independent thinkers. Paralegals utilize critical thinking in abundance.
Critical thought processes provide are necessary for day-to-day tasks. In your job as a paralegal, you will think critically as research issues, manage documents and spreadsheets, employ computer technology, craft summations for trials, and master organization. Your paralegal training encourages you to apply critical thinking to:
- Listen carefully and evaluate what is being said
- Persist in the completion of complex tasks
- Plan carefully
- Find creative ways to compromise
- Use logic and reasoning to draw conclusions from facts
- Suppress tendencies toward impulsive behavior
- Recognize and remove unproductive strategies
- Use social awareness perceptions to note the reactions of other people
- Self-correct when necessary to turn thoughts into positive actions
Make Well-Informed Decisions through Analytical Thinking
To excel in the field of paralegal work, you must employ analytical thinking as well as critical thinking. When you use analytical thinking, you collect information, examine it carefully, resolve problems, and identify unexpected results.
Legal issues are frequently very complex. In order to make them intelligible and find solutions that uphold the law, you must:
- Collect, analyze, and organize all pertinent, relatable information
- Identify the problem and search for its causes
- Develop options and alternatives that abide by the laws of your area
- Reevaluate options, adding any new or recently discovered information
- Find clear, workable solutions and express them concisely
- Acquire knowledge about applicable laws, codes, procedures, and state or federal government mandates as they relate to your problem solving
- Use deductive reasoning to ensure that your fact gathering evidence proves your point and solves the problem
Become a Successful Paralegal with an Online Degree from Broadview
Broadview University prepares students for the legal profession by teaching both critical and analytical thinking skills.
At Broadview, you can fit a paralegal degree into your busy life. Attend full time, year round to finish the online Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Paralegal in under two years or the Bachelor of Science in Paralegal in three. Whether you pursue a bachelor’s or associate degree, you’ll be sure to learn to critique and analyze the information around you so that you can succeed in your profession.