The Role of a Paralegal
Paralegals are professionals who perform legal work for a lawyer or law firm. Some people mistakenly assume that they're a type of legal secretary, and while it's true that much of their job does involve managing your paperwork and juggling attorneys' schedules, their responsibilities are much more extensive than that. They must have extensive legal knowledge and local experience, since laws and legal procedures vary widely depending on where you’re located. Paralegals are used to gather information and draft the relevant documents for your case. They may conduct meetings with clients, and then use this information to help your attorney prepare for your case.
What Paralegals Cannot Do
While paralegals provide a certain amount of legal help, they are not lawyers. Most importantly, they are not allowed to give you legal advice. If they do, both they and the lawyer they work for can get into serious trouble. Paralegals cannot accept new clients on behalf of a lawyer or set your legal fees. Neither are they allowed to ask questions at a deposition or represent you in court.
Why Are Paralegals Needed?
Preparing for a civil lawsuit involves an immense amount of research and paperwork. Paralegals are the ones performing most of this “legwork” so that your attorney can have as much information as possible about your case. This will help him or her be better prepared to represent you and help you win your lawsuit.
Benefits of Paralegals
Some people are concerned when they notice paralegals doing most of the work on their case after they’ve gone to a lawyer for legal help in Daphne, AL. The fact is that paralegals work to your benefit. Because their fees are significantly less than a lawyer's, they help reduce your overall legal cost. This is especially true since they perform most of the research and paperwork involved in your case, which can add up to hundreds of hours of work.