Paralegals are legal assistants who spend the majority of their time assisting to manage the massive paperwork generated by legal proceedings. Paralegals file, sort, index, photocopy, and draft legal documents. They could also hold hearings and interview witnesses. Most entry-level paralegals must have a bachelor’s degree, and extra certification may increase occupations. The duties of a paralegal be determined by the firm that the paralegal works and the educational training and connection with the paralegal.
Many of the paralegal’s services are performed directly for the advantage of an attorney, businessperson, or government employee. These services assist the employer along with his or her duties. A paralegal could also work directly with the lawyer’s clients, drafting necessary contracts and paperwork. Some paralegals, however, provide legal services for those who cannot afford full legal services. Typical paralegal services include preparing all sorts of court papers, planning finances, including estates with will and trust plans, and corporate services.
Paralegals make a number of court papers, such as for example motions, briefs, and depositions. Motions petition the trial judge for particular rulings favorable to the lawyer’s team. Briefs are reports that describe and support the motion. Depositions contain interviews of witnesses prior to the trial begins. Each one of these documents should be indexed and organized, and frequently should be entered right into a computer, by the paralegal.
With proper training, paralegals may draft wills and trusts, separation agreements, and mortgages. Paralegal services may extend into property by helping prepare taxation statements and planning estates.
Paralegals with an increase of business training employed in a corporate environment can help handle bankruptcies filings, shareholder agreements, stock option plans, benefit plans, or taxation statements. Some may keep finance records for regulations firm. Others can help oversee business contracts.
Since paralegal services often involve paperwork, it is important a paralegal also be experienced in organizing and sorting information, along with conducting research and interviews. Additional trained in each one of these skills can be acquired at colleges, universities, and online training programs.