What Is A Paralegal And What Do They Do?

What is a paralegal? A paralegal is also referred to as a legal assitant who assists an attorney with everything from client interviews to extensive legal research.

A paralegal, also known as a legal assistant, performs most everything an attorney does just short of actual litigation.

Paralegals take information from clients when they first visit an attorney's office. They take thorough notes of why the client is at the office, which is passed on to the attorney for further analysis.

They also draft legal documents such as legal correspondence, documents that need to be filed with the court system and interoffice memoranda. These tasks are crucial in the functioning of the legal office. Without these important duties being done in a timely manner, attorneys would have a tougher time getting their job done.

Paralegals also keep a calendar and chart important deadlines that must be met. The timing of documents being filed with the courts, is the crux of the legal system. Once a deadline passes the whole matter being dealt with legally is in jeopardy as is the reputation of the attorney.

When an attorney prepares for a trial the paralegal helps with all the critical planning involved, such as drafting a trial notebook that the attorney will need throughout the trial and preparing exhibits and other documents needed for presentation

Clients and witnesses will be interviewed by the paralegal in a law office. Pertinent facts need to be gathered so information cal be passed along to the attorney in preparation of trial if need be.

Any legal investigations needing to be carried out will be done by the paralegal. Facts about cases will be gathered by interviewing important clients and witnesses about relevant records and data.

All client files need to be maintained in an orderly manner. Without such meticulous attention paid to these tasks by the paralegal, no job would get done in a timely manner.

Legal research can be a significant part of a paralegal's job responsibilities. Research involves searching through court cases via a variety of routes and obtaining related information that will assist the case at hand. With 50 states available to peruse the task is large and very time-consuming. But it can be brilliantly exciting as well.

The smaller the law office, the more tasks the paralegal will be performing that are clerical in nature. This can be good for breaking routines and providing variety. But for a paralegal seeking more of a challenge, a larger law office might provide that with lengthy lists of research and investigations to be done.

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