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Paralegal

Paralegal

 

Paralegals, or legal assistants, work in private law firms or in the public sector and perform support tasks for attorneys 

Paralegals and legal assistants typically do the following:

·         Investigate and gather the facts of a case

·         Conduct research on relevant laws, regulations, and legal articles

·         Organize and maintain documents in paper or electronic filing systems

·         Gather and arrange evidence and other legal documents for attorney review and case preparation

·         Write or summarize reports to help lawyers prepare for trials

·         Draft correspondence and legal documents, such as contracts and mortgages

·         Get affidavits and other formal statements that may be used as evidence in court

·         Help lawyers during trials by handling exhibits, taking notes, or reviewing trial transcripts

·         File exhibits, briefs, appeals and other legal documents with the court or opposing counsel

·         Call clients, witnesses, lawyers, and outside vendors to schedule interviews,
meetings, and depositions


Important Qualities

Communication skills. Paralegals must be able to document and present their research and related information to their supervising attorney.

Computer skills. Paralegals need to be familiar with using computers for legal research and litigation support. They also use computer programs for organizing and maintaining important documents.

Interpersonal skills. Paralegals spend most of their time working with clients and other professionals and must be able to develop good relationships. They must make clients feel comfortable sharing personal information related to their cases.

Organizational skills. Paralegals may be responsible for many cases at one time. They must adapt quickly to changing deadlines.

Research skills. Paralegals gather facts of the case and research information on relevant laws and regulations to prepare drafts of legal documents for attorneys and help them prepare for a case.