Behind Every Good Lawyer Stands A Paralegal
According Merriam-Webster defines a “lawyer” as a person trained and licensed to prepare, manage, and either prosecute or defend a court action as an agent for another and who also gives advice on legal matters that may or may not require court action. Merriam-Webster defines a “paraprofessional” as a person whose job is to help a professional person (such as a lawyer). So, what is a paralegal and what do they do? Simply put, and according to Merriam-Webster a “paralegal” is defined as relating to, or being a paraprofessional who assists a lawyer. The duties of paralegals may vary depending on what the lawyer expects of them or their areas of experience.
There are organizations which provide a blueprint for such legal professionals as well as paraprofessionals. The American Bar Association (ABA) is an organization which is responsible for establishing model ethical codes for attorneys; they are also committed to supporting the legal profession as whole. The National Federation of Paralegal Associations, Inc. (NFPA) is the organization which is responsible for taking the model ethical code, established by the ABA and apply them to assist the paralegal profession in building a communications network and to provide direction for future development.
There are different types of paralegals based on the work performed. According to the National Federation of Paralegal Association’s publication Paralegal Responsibilities, there are four general categories of paralegal practice although the terms are not all inclusive of the titles used within the profession; the titles below will provide a general idea on how paralegals have evolved:
1. Traditional Paralegals are paralegals who work with the supervision by and/or accountability to a lawyer in a law firm environment.
2. Non-Traditional Paralegals are paralegals who work with the supervision by and/or accountability to a lawyer outside of a law firm...