Paralegals provide affordable legal aid to the general public as a cheaper alternative for legal services. They typically work under an attorney or lawyer’s supervision and provide aid to them as a legal administrative assistant. The aid they provide can vary from industry to industry, with many Paralegals choosing to specialize in a certain field.
Although a Paralegal’s main purpose is to free up the time of their supervising attorney or lawyer, there are some things they are not allowed to do. They can’t give legal advice, represent a client in court, or sign documents as a legal representative. However, they can perform duties such as filing motions, interviewing clients, filing paperwork, and draft documents.
Paralegal responsibilities may include:
- Conduct legal research.
- File motions.
- File documents with the court.
- Prepare retainers.
- Investigate a case.
- Provide evidence that can be used in court.
Paralegals are vital in making sure that an attorney is able to focus on the most important part of their job. In order to provide as much value to their supervisor as possible, a skilled Paralegal will:
- Perform their due diligence to provide accurate facts and statements during a case.
- Possess an eye for detail when handling legal documentation.
- Communicate clearly and effectively with their supervisor, staff, and the parties involved with a case.
- Possess a strong work ethic in order to manage their workload.
- Stay highly organized to effectively manage multiple clients at a time.
There are many paths to gaining employment as a Paralegal. Some employers will hire a college graduate with no legal experience and train them on the job if they have experience in a field that would be useful to the firm. Other candidates may possess an Associate’s, Bachelor’s, or even a Master’s Degree in Paralegal studies.
Additionally, there are many programs that offer a certificate in Paralegal studies that will give candidates the skills they need to qualify for a position as a Paralegal. Passing exams such as the CLA or PACE can further increase a candidate’s prospects.
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PARALEGAL SAMPLE INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
Do you know how to use Westlaw?
How do you stay organized when dealing with multiple assignments?
Have you ever interviewed a witness?
How would you put together a closing binder?
Tell me about your experiences with the judicial system.
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