What do Paralegals Do: 4 Common Questions Answered
Those who are interested in the dynamics of our court system often ask what paralegals do? The answer is that the duties of a paralegal are multifaceted and complex, requiring several years of education and experience in order to become proficient.
However, in order to do our part to help out, we have outlined a few common questions below that we will answer to the best of our ability in order to help you better scratch that itch that has you wondering what do paralegals do.
Legal Assistant vs. Paralegal: Who Does What?When answering the question “what do paralegals do?” there is often some confusion as to the difference between paralegals and legal assistants. Although these titles are sometimes used interchangeably, a paralegal performs more complex tasks than a legal assistant does. A paralegal could be responsible for performing legal research, drafting legal documents and assisting with depositions while legal assistants usually answer the phone, schedule appointments, and draft correspondence.
As such, the work of a legal assistant is more administrative than it is technical. A paralegal usually is required to have some formal education.
Can a Paralegal Work from Home?
While many paralegals are employed in law firms, some of them actually do work from home. Many of them are freelancers who work for different attorneys as independent contractors. Others have established themselves as reliable workers and are therefore afforded the ability to telecommute.
Should I Become a Paralegal?
If you enjoy helping people from all walks of life get the justice they deserve, becoming a paralegal could be right for you. Before entering this career field, you should have a good understanding as to the question of “what do paralegals do?” Remember that the law is constantly changing, and paralegals need to develop strong research skills in order to stay up-to-date with current changes.
They must also be able to set aside their personal biases in order to give each client the best service. This must be done while also maintaining confidentiality and meeting strict deadlines as required by law.
What Does it Mean to be ABA-Approved?
The American Bar Association certifies certain training programs for paralegals and legal assistants. In order to become certified, a college will have to undergo a rigorous inspection that will include material, textbooks and instructor credentials among other things. Schools that meet this criteria have achieved the gold standard as far as legal education goes, and students who graduate from one of these programs can typically demonstrate greater proficiency in certain tasks as well.
When answering the question of “what do paralegals do”, many attorneys will tell you that they are invaluable to their practice. By taking care of the brunt of their caseload, paralegals free attorneys up to spend more time with their clients, thereby generating more revenue for the law firm.