What is a Paralegal?

Paralegals are trained professionals who assist lawyers with their legal work. Paralegal duties generally encompass more responsibilities than typical clerical work (ie. greeting clients, answering phones, typing, etc.), and cover a wider range of legal work. Often times paralegals conduct case research, draft legal documents, speak to witnesses, and help out with the organization for cases. Many paralegals are involved in challenging and exciting assignments that would otherwise be performed by lawyers. The job of a paralegal is quite similar to that of a lawyer, the only significant differences being that they are not allowed to present cases in court, sign official documents, give legal advice, or establish pay rates for clients.

Even though it may seem like the the job of a paralegal is geared towards independent people working alone at a desk, often times it can be a very people-oriented profession. Paralegals will have to interact with lawyers, other paralegals & secretaries on a daily basis, and will also have to communicate with potential clients, witnesses, and court workers.