Paralegal Job Description
Paralegal job description types vary depending upon the particular legal agency in which the paralegal is employed.
However, there are some duties that tend to be common in many legal companies. Some common examples of a paralegal’s duties include such things as assisting attorneys in getting ready for real estate closings, trials and legal proceedings, or business meetings.
Paralegals may research the important points of cases to make sure that all pertinent details are covered. Additionally they research legal guidelines, case judgments, law reports, along with other material that is strongly related to designated cases.
Once they evaluate and arrange the results, paralegals may create written reports that lawyers use as a basis for deciding how cases need to be treated. If attorneys opt to file legal actions for clients, paralegals will help prepare the appropriate legal arguments, draw up pleadings and motions to be submitted to the court, get affidavits, and aid lawyers throughout the trial.
Another aspect of the paralegal job description involves computers.
Legal software applications and the Internet are utilized by paralegals to research legal materials saved in mainframe databases as well as on CD-ROM.
In court cases that include many records and documents, paralegals generally need excellent computer skills in order to access, arrange, and catalog various resources. Other computer-related tasks may include scanning documents into databases, keeping track of hours billed to clients, and performing tax computations.
Along with preparatory and computer tasks, paralegals carry out many other functions. For instance, they assist in drawing up legal agreements, mortgages, and divorce contracts. Additionally they may possibly aid in setting up tax returns, creating trust funds, and planning estates. Some paralegals organize the work flow of other law office workers and look after the office finances.
Be aware that in areas where paralegals and legal assistants have distinct and separate job descriptions, the paralegal job description includes scenarios that are more directly involved with casework, whereas the function of legal assistants tends to be more administrative.
In these situations law firms seeking to hire paralegals, will be looking for people with certification, or experience in working with law-related issues. If they are searching for legal assistants, they will be more interested in prospective employees with clerical or administrative backgrounds.
Many years ago, the paralegal job description was not unlike that of a high-level secretary, but these days most people view paralegals as being much closer to actual attorneys.
Great paralegals can in fact perform most of the tasks that attorneys perform.
The major exceptions include that they are limited by law from giving legal advice, directly representing clients in the courtroom, or setting attorney’s fees. It is clear from the rising demand for competent paralegals that they are in high demand as most lawyers cannot possibly find the time to do everything demanded of them.