Job Duties of a Paralegal
Are you interested in learning about the job duties of a paralegal? Paralegals typically work for law firms or in corporate legal departments. They are often called legal assistants. They are able to handle a wide variety of tasks under a licensed attorney's supervision. Specific duties and responsibilities varying greatly based on the types of cases and situations the law firm or corporate employer deals with.
Conduct Legal Research
Paralegals often devote a significant amount of time to legal research. They may be involved in searching for particular laws that are applicable t situations that their companies or clients are involved with. They may spend significant amounts of time reading legal publications as well as researching via computer.
In addition to conducting legal background research, paralegals are also often conduct investigations. They may work on verifying information that is being used in legal arguments or that is being considered for evidence. They may also try to locate evidence that can confirm or deny the validity of allegations in legal matters.
Preparing Legal Documents
Paralegals frequently draft various types of legal documents. Examples include incorporation papers, business contracts, wills, divorce agreements, and other types of important documentation.
Paralegals are often responsible for organizing, compiling, and tracking the information that they find so that it can be easily accessed by each member of the legal team as needed.
Paralegals often handle recording and keeping track of corporate records, including minutes from shareholders meetings, preparing and filing financial statements and tax forms, keeping track of insurance and licensure records, and more.
Paralegals may be responsible for keeping up with legislative changes that impact their companies or clients of their law firms to ensure that appropriate personnel are aware of developments. They may also be responsible for ensuring that necessary compliance actions are taken in a timely manner.
Legal Defense Work
Paralegals may work side by side with attorneys, helping investigate legal cases and assist with the preparation of arguments and supporting documentation for trials. Paralegals cannot, however, argue cases in court themselves. That privilege is limited to licensed attorneys.
In law firms, paralegals often perform important client relations duties. They may meet with clients in person or via telephone for the purposes of collecting and sharing information and building rapport. However, paralegals are not allowed to actually give legal advice. Only attorneys may do this.
Additional Legal Career Options
Working as a paralegal can be very rewarding. However, this is not the only career that you may want to investigate if you want to work in the legal profession. To learn more about additional legal career options, see: