Paralegals are the qualified people, who work as subordinates to the lawyers. Law offices or other such agencies and perform the work delegated to them by their superiors. Their work includes researching on the precedents, investigating a caster, preparing Legal documents or providing their assistance to the lawyers. In most of the law firms, the senior associates rely on the work of a paralegal. Paralegals help lawyers to prepare cases for trial and try to uncover all the facts of the case. They conduct relevant research which might aid the lawyers for whom they work to get the decision in their favor. Much of the paralegal’s work involves writing reports and drafting legal documents for litigation.
Paralegals play a vital role in the legal system, and there is a slow but definitive trend toward the increased use of paralegals in the delivery of legal services. Although not admitted to practice law (except for those who have obtained a law degree), paralegals often perform legal tasks which are also performed by lawyers. Under the supervision of a senior lawyer they can run their own files and conduct work which may have otherwise been undertaken by a junior lawyer. Paralegals must have a solid knowledge of legal terminology and federal and state rules of legal procedure. Excellent organisational skills are a must, as it is likely you will be managing voluminous case files and exhibits.
Strong research and writing skills are also necessary for drafting pleadings, correspondence and other documents. The paralegal profession began during the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, as the need for greater access to legal services increased. The high cost of legal services made it difficult for the poor to obtain counsel, and as a result, legal secretaries arrived on the scene to perform legally substantive tasks. The job has since evolved, and now legal secretaries are usually called paralegals or legal assistants and are typically certified and hold a college degree. All paralegals are required to have a vast knowledge of the legal system, no matter where you choose to work or what area of law you work in.
Most lawyers will expect paralegals to have a solid understanding of how to prepare affidavits or other documents, such as legal correspondence, and organize and maintain documents in paper or electronic filing system as well as prepare for trial by performing tasks such as organizing exhibits. These skills, among others, are taught in a paralegal training program, designed to help students navigate today’s legal landscape. The main duties of a paralegal include providing support to the attorneys. They assist the senior lawyers by preparing the documents and arranging them for their meetings, hearings, etc. A paralegal needs to maintain the confidentiality and decorum in the law firms they work in. However, it’s important to note that paralegals aren’t allowed to represent their clients in the court. They can just do the subordinate work.
Following are the main tasks that one can expect from a paralegal:
1. Collecting the documents, like evidence or affidavits
2. Researching on the case, through online or on fieldwork
3. Writing research papers or reports for the law firm they work in
4. Draft pleadings for submission in courts
5. Prepare documents like Sale contracts, property transfer papers, or wills,
6. They can interview the clients or witnesses
7. They review the legal documents that need to be submitted in the court of law
8. Briefing about the case to their seniors is one important task they have
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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