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What Are a Paralegal's Daily Responsibilities?

Legal professionals talking

Before paralegals became commonplace in law offices, corporate legal departments, and government agencies, lawyers had to juggle many more duties and responsibilities themselves. Paralegals now perform much of the important groundwork of preparing legal documents, interacting with clients, conducting research, and organizing information to be presented in the courtroom, which enables lawyers to focus more intensely on trying cases and resolving legal problems. Here's a closer look at some of the key daily responsibilities of paralegals.

Preparing Legal Documents

An education in general legal studies gives paralegals the tools to perform one of their most important daily duties: preparing legal documents. Depending on which area of the law they work in, paralegals may be expected to draft, organize, and manage a variety of legal documents, ranging from dockets, briefs, pleadings, and appeals to wills, contracts, billing records, and real estate closing statements. It's critical that these documents are properly formatted and filed, so paralegals must be highly organized and detail oriented.

Interacting with Clients

Lawyers often work within complex schedules and under tight time constraints, which can sometimes make it challenging to maintain contact with clients. Although paralegals are prohibited from practicing law or offering legal advice, they are sometimes required to communicate directly with clients, counsel, witnesses, or other professionals related to a case. This may be to discuss the case's details, prepare clients for trial, or gather important information and documents.

Conducting Research

Legal matters are complicated and often require extensive in-depth background work and research. It's a paralegal's responsibility to use both traditional and electronic methods to gather facts about a case; investigate relevant case law; review past court decisions; and locate any necessary data, legal articles, codes, and documents. This research is invaluable to lawyers as they work to determine causes of action and prepare to litigate cases.

Preparing for Trial

To be successful in the courtroom, lawyers must be extremely organized and professional in their arguments and presentations. Paralegals work to ensure that exhibits, electronic files, documents, and visual tools are accurate, presentable, and ready to be used as needed during trials. They may also work directly with clients to help them prepare for appearances in court.

At the Tulane School of Professional Advancement, our Bachelor of Arts in General Legal Studies and Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Paralegal Studies are approved by the American Bar Association and can prepare you for a successful career as a paralegal. Request more information today to learn about our general legal studies programs.

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