Paralegal Job Duties

  • Research
  • Case Preparation
  • Document Management
  • Courtroom and Legal Proceedings Assistance
  • Communication and Coordination

The 5 job duties of a paralegal encompass a wide variety of tasks that are all focused on making a difference in legal proceedings, actions, hearings, and trials. Paralegals work with attorneys, judges, corporate firms, and government officials to handle everything from the initial contact with a client to the final filing of any paperwork with the appropriate agency. Within the 5 job duties associated with the position, a paralegal must have a diverse set of skills, experience, and knowledge.

Research

To begin preparing for a case, an attorney must have all of the relevant facts related to it whether it is for a courtroom hearing or a legal transaction, and this is a job duty of a paralegal that will often encompass the most time. In addition to learning all of the details about specific cases, paralegals must also research regulations, previous court rulings, and relevant laws to the case. Additionally, articles published in legal journals and other forums can be helpful as a case is prepared for legal action or activity.

Case Preparation

Another of the 5 job duties of a paralegal is to prepare the necessary documents and materials for a case. This includes arranging evidence and gathering legal information found in the research step along with obtaining any information from other court representatives involved in the case. More information on the skills required for handling the preparation of case material can be found at the National Federation of Paralegal Associations career page.

Document Management

Included in the 5 job duties of a paralegal is the management of documents. Paralegals perform similar tasks as a project manager would, including filing the necessary paperwork with the courts as well as releasing appropriate documents to any other interested parties, such as the attorney for the other party in the case. Additionally, in their essential job duties, a paralegal will typically manage the filing and record keeping systems within a law office or other agency.

Courtroom and Legal Proceedings Assistance

During trials and other types of court-related proceedings, paralegals are an integral part of the process. Some of the key responsibilities a paralegal will take on during a hearing include management of exhibits, trial or mediation transcript review, and detailed note taking. Paralegals must be alert, detail oriented, meticulous, and organized to perform each of these job duties of the position.

Communication and Coordination

In the job duties of a paralegal, professionals will write reports and all correspondence going out and coming into an office. Additionally, the 5 job duties of a paralegal include having skills to be able to coordinate with other attorneys, witnesses in cases, other legal representatives when appropriate, and any additional relevant parties such as private detectives. Communication in the paralegal profession requires empathy, organization, and well-developed interpersonal skills.

The 5 job duties of a paralegal are essential functions in order for legal proceedings and transactions to take place. The responsibilities of this position are utilized in offices of attorneys, courthouses, and government offices, as well as in industries such as insurance for compliance purposes. With a myriad of skills from written communication to critical thinking, paralegals perform job duties to protect clients and the legal system overall.

See also: Affordable Legal Studies Degree Online (Bachelor's)