Paralegal Job Description Example, Duties, and Responsibilities
What Does a Paralegal Do?
A paralegal is a professional equipped with the knowledge and expertise to carry out procedures in legal issues under the supervision of an attorney whom they assist in the course of their job.
The job description of the paralegal is to perform substantive and procedural routine duties of legal work with the knowledge of legal concepts to make the work of attorneys easier and simplified.
A key responsibility of a paralegal is to handle paper works of legal matters involving issues of divorce, investigations, bankruptcy, interrogations and briefings.
Documents for these cases are properly sorted out, evaluated and filed by him/her based on the instruction of the attorney.
While the paralegal is not licensed to give legal advice or represent clients, he/she can take part in investigative cases to unravel difficult issues in a legal suit by finding information.
Their role also includes assisting the attorney in their preparation for a case by carrying out research, reading articles related to the case and evaluating previous judicial decisions taken on such cases.
They also prepare legal reports which the attorney uses as point of reference in determining strategies for tacking the case at hand.
Although the paralegal cannot speak for the attorney in the courtroom, they can assist him/her by arranging all documents of reference, making them easily accessible for presentation while arguing a case.
Knowledgeable in drafting legal agreements, the paralegal uses his/her expertise to draft legal contracts, dispositions, shareholder agreements and other paper work that are bound by the law.
As experts in finding factual information, paralegals also perform the task of interviewing witnesses with a unique intelligence to extract valuable information from them and also evaluate the credibility of the information by carrying out further investigation.
Also, as their job involves them working with attorneys, legal practitioners, clients and witnesses, they imbibe the team spirit and relate with everybody in a cordial and professional manner to facilitate work.
In order to simplify the job of attorneys and other legal practitioners, paralegals will filter irrelevant documents out of the many documents gathered from research for a case and present the relevant details to them for easy comprehension and organization.
Example of Paralegal Job Description, Duties, Tasks, and Responsibilities
Here is an example of paralegal job description, containing important duties, tasks, and responsibilities, which people working in that position, are usually expected to perform:
- Assist attorneys to prepare documents for legal matters such as amendments, partnerships, briefs, withdrawals, complaints, pretrial orders, interrogations, etc.
- Assist attorneys to fill stock certificates
- Compile litigation and billing information for preparation of responses to auditors’ request
- Assist attorneys in carrying out preparations for trials, hearings, and closings by embarking on legal research
- Conduct subsequent interviews on clients and witnesses; create a memo that summarizes their testimonies; and present it to the attorney
- Perform administrative duties which involves answering phone calls, filing papers, organizing clients’ files and legal documents
- Schedule appointment of attorneys with clients and witnesses
- Attend trials, hearings, will executions and other legal functions with the attorney
Preparing a Resume for Paralegal Job
The paralegal resume, like other resumes, has the job history and other sections to complete. The sample job description shown above provides the needed information that can be used in preparing the employment history section of the resume, which highlights the functions and roles paralegals play in a law firm.
Requirements – Qualities – Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities – for the Post of Paralegal
Below is a list of important requirements, including skills, knowledge, and abilities, which paralegals are expected to have to boost their effectiveness on the job:
- Have self confidence
- Excellent knowledge of legal matters
- High intellectual curiosity
- Good interpersonal skills
- Good analytical skills
- Good knowledge of research
- Ability to be spontaneous