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Paralegal?

How much legal work do you actually get to do as a paralegal? I know you can't represent ppl in court but as far as actual case work what do you do? Hopefully i'll get some answers from actual paralegals :) also is there even a demand for those right now and if so is a 2yr degree good enough?

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NCmommie421

Asked by NCmommie421 at 6:12 PM on Apr. 7, 2011 in Money & Work

Level 7 (162 Credits)
Answers (7)
  • A Paralegal is a fancy word for GRUNT. They do all the law look up in the law library, they write up motions and go to court to file them. The often know the law better than the lawyer they work for due to all the law books they read.
    vbruno

    Answer by vbruno at 6:14 PM on Apr. 7, 2011

  • Vbruno said it very well. They are doing the grunt work, the typing the paperwork, the filing, the research, the phone calls. The lawyer shows up in their suit and talks in front of the court.... That's been my experience with the lawyer we have. As for demands for paralegal, I think it depends on where you live, I live in northern Indiana, and don't see that being a path that would lead to a job...
    BabyBugsmama

    Answer by BabyBugsmama at 6:17 PM on Apr. 7, 2011

  • i live in southern nc.
    i would love to be an actual lawyer but thats too long to go to school lol
    NCmommie421

    Comment by NCmommie421 (original poster) at 6:23 PM on Apr. 7, 2011

  • It depends on what area of law you're in and what size law firm you're with. Transactional, traffic, criminal law would give you greater responsibility and closer interaction with the legal process and courts but keep in mind, that also means more work and liability for detailed work. Intellectual property (IP) and corporate law involves mostly filing documents that attorneys and legal secretaries prepare, timely filing with the court and proper service to all parties, and making sure the documents meet court guidelines. IP law tends to involve the most volume of paperwork but at the same time, it's more stable in demand and you have job security. A paralegal's duties could mean different responsibilities depending on the area of law and the specific place you work. Some legal secretaries overlap into paralegal/legal assistant duties but for some reason, they're not recognized as equals.
    hellokittykat

    Answer by hellokittykat at 6:27 PM on Apr. 7, 2011

  • basically paralegal is to lawyer what a nurse is to a doctor. They do most of the work. I am studying to be a paralegal as well. It depends on your state what you can do. In mine, you can work in a law office or on your own. A lot of times, lawyers will refer people to a paralegal when that person can't afford an attorney. That is what I plan on doing, I have a lawyer who is willing to do this for me. Basically, I can fill out the paperwork for the person and walk them through what they can expect to happen but I can't go with them to court or give any official legal advise.
    JLS2388

    Answer by JLS2388 at 6:28 PM on Apr. 7, 2011

  • I have been a paralegal for many years so let me know if you have further questions. Are you also curious about the salary differences? IP law pays more than other areas of law due to the combination of technical and legal knowledge that it entails. Some states do not allow paralegals to do certain things. Being a paralegal is a good step to finding out if you have the chops/patience to being a lawyer.
    hellokittykat

    Answer by hellokittykat at 6:38 PM on Apr. 7, 2011

  • I was a paralegal to attorneys in the corporate environment; quite different than working for lawyers in a law firm. I loved it! The pay/benefit/work was much better than if I went to work for a law firm.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:03 AM on Apr. 8, 2011

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