From drafting correspondence to performing legal research, the life of a paralegal can be quite different from one day to the next. Despite these differences, most paralegals do a combination of the following things.
Conducting legal research
One of the most important tasks in any legal department is to conduct research on specific cases and legal precedents. This includes looking at court decisions that are relevant to an ongoing case and gathering information about those decisions such as what parties were involved and why the court decided to rule a certain way. Because of its importance, research is usually one of the biggest components of a paralegal’s work and tends to account for a large part of their day.
Another important component of legal research is to interview clients about their cases. This includes gathering general information about clients and their cases and also discussing more detailed elements of those cases such as the events that took place on a particular day. By conducting these interviews, paralegals are able to identify key facts that they can then pass on to the more senior legal team who can determine the best way to use them during legal proceedings.
In addition to conducting research and interviews, paralegals are responsible for gathering that information together into concise reports which are used by attorneys when preparing cases and developing strategies for arguing those cases. These reports are typically structured to include the facts of a specific case as well as relevant legal precedents and court decisions pertaining to that case.
Drafting correspondence and carrying out administrative tasks
Paralegals are also responsible for drafting letters to clients, judges and other attorneys and carrying out administrative tasks such as scheduling and filing. These tasks combined are part of the general support paralegals offer to the legal team and can be vary greatly from one one day to the next.
An exciting and diverse career, being a paralegal is a great career path for recent grads who are interested in working on a legal team. The best way to find out if being a paralegal is right for you is by interning with a legal department and getting a hands-on feel for the role.
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