What is a Paralegal?

A paralegal is a person qualified to perform substantive legal work, customarily carried out by lawyers, that requires extensive knowledge of legal concepts. Through education, training, and work experience, this person may be retained or employed by a lawyer, legal firm, governmental agency, or other entity that requires this work.

Some duties that paralegals can perform include:

  • Prepare for court dates such as closings, hearings and trials is a major part of many paralegal positions.
  • Identify laws and judicial decisions to help lawyers build cases
  • Analyze and organize data, write summaries and assist attorneys during trial
  • Prepare legal documents
  • Help draft contracts

The duties of paralegals are as wide and diverse as are their employers.
Paralegals may be generalists meaning that their practice is broad and varied or the
paralegal may be a specialist meaning that their work is very focused and tailored to a
particular area of law.