The paralegal’s job has evolved a lot since the early 1970s when the profession was taken as a bona fide career. Today, it can be said that they are the backbone of the legal profession. Over the years, their job has grown to more responsibilities and becoming a more indispensable part of the team. A paralegal is also known as a legal assistant in some circles. This means that they help lawyers in their day to day duties. Although paralegals are not the same as lawyers, they do have nearly the same knowledge and experience.
The American Association for Paralegal Education (AAFPE) says that a paralegal does quite a bit of procedural legal work as permitted by the law. Work which in the absence of the paralegal would fall on the lawyer to do. Through education, training and work experience, paralegals can adequately assist the attorney who then represents the clients on various platforms such as negotiations or even in court. The paralegal performs a vast array of jobs on any particular day. Paralegals via their experience can be instrumental in some core functions such as:
Legal Presentations and Research
Some of the most time consuming and resource intensive tasks in the legal world include trials, hearings, and closings. Depending on the complexity of the case, there is often a lot of research and work to be done on a lot of fronts to secure victory for the client. During training, a paralegal is endowed with all the necessary research and presentation skills needed to succeed. This means that they do all the research on the case’s facts, applicable laws, loopholes, judicial precedents and even identifying possible ways to get around a certain directive. The paralegal will then take this information and compile it in a sensible way where the lawyers of record can then present in court or during a meeting.
To get to the bottom of many issues, several interviews with various parties must be organized and executed. Client interviews are a strong source of information for many cases. For this reason, there needs to be a properly trained person who has the knowledge and experience in asking questions in various structures to get to the answer you need. Since the lawyer of record cannot be in all the client interviews, they entrust this role to the paralegal who observes and takes notes which will be later used for subsequent interviews should the need arise. After the paralegal is done, he will compile the entire interview into a memo which is then given to the attorney for one reason or another.
Handling legal documents
Because of the education and training afforded to paralegals, they have the knowledge and experience with all sorts of legal documents ranging from complaints, subpoenas, deposition notices, interrogatories, pretrial orders, legal briefs and so much more. Since the art of communication is crucial for their success, they polish it up a lot so that they can leave no loopholes in the documents and contracts.
Being a paralegal requires that someone undergo thorough training and gain relevant experience in this field. To begin, you need paralegal classes Toronto. By following the right teachers, you can become a great paralegal.