What is a Paralegal’s Role?
Part of a paralegal's job resembles that of an attorney, but due to lack of qualifications a paralegal can’t represent a client in court or give any legal advice except under the supervision of an attorney.
There are 2 Kinds of Paralegals
- General paralegal and corporate work
- Litigation paralegal work
General Paralegal and Corporate Work
Preparing documents such as:
- employment contracts;
- shareholder agreement;
- stock details;
- financial statements.
The paralegal needs to:
- have an understanding of government regulations;
- be able to undertake research in law publications and read and understand legal journals.
This plays a slightly different role and needs to be able to:
- evaluate client information so that it is accurate;
- conduct research into previous but similar cases;
- sort documents highlighting evidence that can be used in courtrooms and legal hearings.
Both types of paralegals play a key role for an attorney, because important pre-trial work is conducted for the attorney. He or she may also help witnesses gain the confidence to answer questions in the courtroom that may seem intimidating.
Because the paralegal does so much pre-trial work and despite not being a fully qualified attorney, he or she may be able to offer some insight into how a case is likely to transit through a courtroom simply because so much background knowledge has been accumulated over time about the case. Sometimes the paralegal is asked to be present in the area reserved for spectators in the courtroom so that he or she is able to report on the progress of the trial from a better vantage point.