Paralegal duties are going to be broadly different depending on the attorney's office in which one might work. While there are some tasks that are going to remain the same across the board, there are differences depending on how busy the attorney is and how important billable hours are to the attorney. This is going to offer a brief summary of the most common and expected duties that a paralegal is going to have to perform in most attorneys offices around the country.
No matter how busy an attorney is, a paralegal is always going to do the bulk of the paperwork that is needed for any case. Even if the case does not go to trial or if it is a financial matter, there are going to be briefs and documents that are going to need to be put together. This is typically done by this position with the help of a legal secretary.
In smaller offices where there is no legal secretary, the paralegal duties are going to include typing up all documents that pertain to any case. In larger offices, this duty can many times be shared or even delegated to the legal secretary. This is truly dependent upon the size of the office and in some cases the experience level of the paralegal. Many times the newer ones are going to have to work their way up to the more interesting tasks.
Another of the many paralegal duties is to find case histories for the attorney so that they can concentrate on the case itself. This means that they are going to have to have great research skills as many times they are going to be required to look through many cases to find the right precedent that is going to fit the case. Many find this aspect of the job the most rewarding as well as challenging part of the job.
They are also going to take statements from witnesses and clients and put together all documents to be ready for trial. It is important for them to have great organizational skills for this part of the job. In most cases, they are also going to do all the court filing after the attorney and clients have signed off on the documents.
There are either many ways to be certified or a full degree in paralegal studies. There are three types of accreditation for those who study this field. They are the certification, an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree. Each takes a different amount of time with certification being the shortest and the bachelor's degree being the longest. All of these can be taken at an accredited online school in order to make it easier on the student.
Being a paralegal can be a rewarding career choice for those who want to work at a law office but who are not interested in becoming an attorney. They do most of the legwork so the attorney can be available for all litigation. They can go online to get any schooling that they need in order to get a job in this field.