An overview of the paralegals

Civil Litigation and Practice LAWS This course provides students with an overview of the theory, procedure and mechanics of a lawsuit from fact gathering through judgment enforcement, with an emphasis on the Pennsylvania Court System. None Elder Law LAWS This course gives an overview of all areas of the law which concern the elderly client such as elder abuse, living facilities, insurance, estate planning and healthcare. Attention is focused on drafting documents such as advance directives, Power of Attorney, wills, trusts and guardianships.

An overview of the paralegals

Official definitions[ edit ] Various professional organizations offer official definitions of a paralegal. These definitions typically have slight differences. This person may be retained or employed by a lawyer, law office, governmental agency or other entity or may be authorized by administrative, statutory or court authority to perform this work.

Substantive shall mean work requiring recognition, evaluation, organization, analysis, and communication of relevant facts and legal concepts.

Through formal education, training and experience, legal assistants have knowledge and expertise regarding the legal system and substantive and procedural law which qualify them to do work of a legal nature under the supervision of an attorney.

Paralegals have knowledge of the law gained through education, or education and work experience, which qualifies them to perform legal work.

Paralegals adhere to recognized ethical standards and rules of professional responsibility. Legal secretaries are also typically responsible for keeping case files organized and indexed, often taking on the duties of a file clerk.

Core Corses

Although legal secretaries may be trained to prepare some basic legal papers and letters, they generally have little or no knowledge of particular legal doctrines, statutes or regulations, and typically have no training or experience in conducting legal research or drafting legal documents, pleadings, motions, briefs or other court papers.

On the other hand, a typical paralegal in the United States can perform all of these tasks under an attorney or law office. Paralegals bill for their time at a higher rate than legal secretaries.

Education, training, and certification[ edit ] Most paralegals have completed a formal paralegal education program.

However, some paralegals have only on-the-job paralegal training. Many paralegals take Continuing Legal Education CLE courses to fulfill the requirements of their firm, state, or association.

Economics[ edit ] The paralegal phenomenon is a legal-economics argument in all jurisdictions — they exist precisely because they are not lawyers and thus can do the work much more cheaply. Each jurisdiction tends to have its own "reserved activities list".

According to United States law,[ citation needed ] there are five specific acts which only a licensed attorney can perform: Establish the attorney—client relationship Sign legal papers and pleadings on behalf of a party Appear in court on behalf of another i.

The key is that attorneys are entirely responsible for the actions of their paralegals, and, by signing and filing court documents drafted by paralegals or law clerksattorneys make those documents their own.

Trends in usage of paralegals[ edit ] In the United States, the need for accredited qualifications and bar licensure limits the number of licensed attorneys. At the same time, there are many legal tasks for which a bar license is unnecessary but some amount of legal training is helpful.

In order to lower costs, businesses may choose to employ paralegals to undertake such tasks instead of a more expensive lawyer.

An overview of the paralegals

Paralegal time is typically billed at only a fraction of what a lawyer charges, and thus to the paralegal has fallen those substantive and procedural tasks which are too complex for legal secretaries whose time is not billed but for which lawyers can no longer bill. This in turn makes lawyers more efficient by allowing them to concentrate solely on the substantive legal issues of the case, while paralegals have become the "case managers.

It has been found through a survey that currently 50, students are enrolled in paralegal education courses. Seminars and events are being held by various institutes to help broaden the knowledge base of the paralegal service providers and the importance associated with it.

Although the nation is experiencing a recession, the paralegal profession continues to grow. Law firms and legal departments are cutting costs and increasing access to legal services by hiring paralegals. The United Kingdom has gone one step further.Job Duties of a Family Law Paralegal.

A family law paralegal’s job goes well beyond filing and paperwork. While they are prohibited from giving legal advice or setting fees, they are taking on more advanced responsibilities. The first step is client intake in which paralegals talk with the potential client and set up an appointment with the attorney.

Paralegal Certificate Courses. Gain a foundation of paralegal training that can be applied across a number of professional positions. Positions with law firms or in the legal department of various businesses can be obtained by paralegals thanks, in part, to .

Paralegal professionals will absolutely be leading the charge to help close California's access to the justice gap in the coming years.

UCR Extension's program is the only ABA-approved program east of downtown L.A., and I'm honored to be part of it.”. Paralegal Job Description. Paralegals are an important part of our legal system working at the forefront of affordable legal assistance both for their employers and the public.

Paralegal was a good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be srmvision.coms may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.

Completion of 50 hours of continuing education credits is required for recertification. Other organizations that offer similar certifications include the American Alliance of Certified Paralegals, the National Federation of Paralegal Associations and the National Association of Legal Secretaries.

The Paralegal | Helping You Navigate Your Paralegal Career