The primary role of a paralegal is to provide general support for a lawyer or a legal team. Although many understand the general role and responsibilities of this profession, the exact job duties of a paralegal are often misunderstood. If you’re interested in embarking on an interesting and dynamic career as a paralegal, take a few minutes to delve into this expanded paralegal job description.
General Paralegal Information
The roles and responsibilities of a paralegal are in directly relation to their specialty and field of employment. For example, the specific job duties of a paralegal employed by a real estate firm can dramatically differ than a paralegal employed within the insurance field. Regardless of the specialty, a paralegal are generally responsible for administrative duties.
The exact work a paralegal performs can vary based upon the size and scope of their employer. Regardless of this, all paralegals are charged with the task of undertaking research. The level of research depends on its purpose. For example, if you’re assisting a trial lawyer for an upcoming case, you’ll likely be responsible for researching specific case laws and delving into evidence.
Along with deep-level research, the primary responsible for all paralegals is detailed note taking and writing skills. Throughout your research, you must understand how to accurately capture essential details. While you may be an expert note taker, if you don’t understand what to specifically capture, then your notes are useless. Therefore, you must obtain a higher-than-normal comprehension of the case and the elements your employer seeks.
When it comes to writing, paralegals are often charged with the task of drafting contracts and client correspondences. Therefore, it’s essential you carry an above-average ability to convey and communicate specific details. There is very little room for error when drafting contracts or compiling statements for clients and/or court systems. This job responsibility is universal regardless of your specialty.
As you progress throughout your paralegal career, you will likely be given supervisory responsibilities. Therefore, if you’re searching for a career where there is substantial upward growth, this profession may be ideal for you. It’s not uncommon for a paralegal to gain promotion to such titles as director of practice support, senior paralegal and legal assistant manager. Once you gain upward mobility within this career, you’ll be charged with more vital responsibilities within your employer. For example, you’d be responsible for recruiting, interviewing and hiring junior paralegals.
If you’re interested in progressing throughout this career, then you’ll likely want to become employed in larger law firms. However, it’s important to note that in order to truly excel within this detailed career move, you must carry an above-average understanding of the United States legal system. It’s recommended to engage in higher learning opportunities, such as earning your Master’s of Paralegal Studies from an accredited university.