Legal assistants, or paralegals, only differ slightly from lawyers. The scope of their responsibility does not include services within the actual practicing of law, such as accepting and presenting cases in court, providing legal advice and setting fees. This gives them a lot of work to perform in the scope of paralegal practice.
What does a legal assistant do?
- Generally legal assistants, also called paralegals, assist lawyers in doing tasks that are related to a lawyer’s job such as hearings, meetings, trials and other legal matters.
- They also do tasks like tracking and organizing legal documents, investigate cases, provide trial assistance, perform legal researches, assist in trial preparation and keeping court deadlines.
- As the work in the law industry becomes more complex, most paralegals choose to specialize in one or more areas of the paralegal practice. What a legal assistant do will depends on what specialty of paralegal practice do they work. For example:
- Litigation legal assistants may work in either the criminal or civil type of litigation. Criminal litigation paralegals are responsible for violation and criminal-related cases, while civil paralegals work on non-criminal cases.
- Labor law paralegals work on labor-related duties which cover the relationship between employers and employees.
- Corporate or business paralegals deal with business-related issues such as execution of business transactions.
- Government paralegals often work in the federal, state or local government. Depending on what agency or area paralegals work will determine their task that can be very varied from investigating down to data and evidence analyzation.
The work of a legal assistant is complex and varied. The career offers great opportunities and benefits are rewarding.
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