A Paralegal is a type of legal assistant to attorneys and is an indispensable part of the legal team. They work under an attorneys direct supervision and routinely provide legal administrative duties. They routinely create legal documents, file motions, interview clients, and prepare retainers just to name a few of their duties.
A paralegal is typically a college graduate with some post B.A. education, either a master’s degree or a certificate. Paralegals are frequently individuals who chose to be paralegals, not simply individuals on their way to law school. Furthermore, they are generally people who have applied to and successfully accepted at competitive, selective higher educational programs.
How Paralegals are trained
Paralegals undergo extensive assessment and introduction in their certificate or masters programs. Lawyers, other paralegals, and expert teachers examine these programs and the paralegals’ performance. The curriculum of these programs usually focuses on the local legal market. Paralegal programs in Silicon Valley, for instance, will focus on tech or IP legal needs whereas programs in Washington, DC will focus on government contracting or international law.
Paralegal programs teach their students how to:
– Conduct print and web legal research
– Legal, company, and academic writing
– Guidelines of treatments and proof
– Movement practice
– Substantive law
– Filing procedures
How are Paralegals Regulated?
In 1997, The American Bar Association adopted this definition of paralegals: A legal assistant or paralegal is a person, qualified by education, training or work experience who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, governmental agency or other entity and who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible.
Regulation pertaining to paralegals differ from state to state.
The conversation of universally regulating the paralegal field has often sparked controversy and valid arguments from both proponents and opponents about standardization of the Paralegal profession. While some legislators make the argument mandatory, licensing would make sure clients receive services only from qualified, trained professionals, and it would distinguish paralegals from legal secretaries. Other legislators argue it is not necessary to regulate the Paralegal profession any further because the statutes already provide safe guards against the unauthorized practice of law and define what a paralegal can and cannot do.
Understanding What Paralegals Can Do
A paralegal’s usefulness go beyond preparing files and performing legal research study. In fact, paralegals can complete tasks that, initially, may appear legal in nature. These tasks include:
– Collaborating annual real estate tax appeal
– Review/coordinate existing 3rd party workplace leases
– Coordinate legal matters associated with acquisition, sale, zoning, and so on of corporate real estate
– Examine product liability concerns
By using paralegals on semi-legal tasks like those noted above, legal departments can give their higher salaried lawyers actual legal work.
Can Paralegals help law firms save money?
For many law firms, decreasing expenses can simply mean renegotiating their agreements with outside
Las Vegas criminal lawyers and attorneys, or laying off some of the in house staff of lawyers. Nevertheless, the effective use of paralegals can attain some impressive cost cutting results as well as enhance the performance and work/life balance of everybody in the legal department. To utilize paralegals effectively, in-house counsel must first understand their capabilities and limits along with the benefits they can bring.
Effective Use of Paralegals Benefit Investors
An apparent benefit of utilizing paralegals to decrease legal costs is the benefit to the investors. By efficiently using paralegals, in-house counsel can minimize those expenses, resulting in more funding being readily available for other departments or financial earnings.
The key to successfully handling paralegals and using them efficiently is for criminal lawyers las vegas firms to first have keen understanding of the legal departments needs. This would help law firms allocate work amongst paralegals and lawyers more effectively.