Paralegal Career Options

Qualified lawyers often have specialized assistants to aid them in their work, and it is these paraprofessionals who are referred to as paralegals. Paralegals can help lawyers in various legal divisions, ranging from clerical jobs to highly substantial legal work. These paraprofessionals are most often under the watchful eye of the attorney or lawyer they are assisting. As logic would say, it definitely is a good field to be in, but the looming difference is that a paralegal cannot do all the jobs or duties that a licensed lawyer can, and one of the biggest differences here is presenting or appearing in court. Paralegal careers generally involve helping the lawyer prepare for hearings/trials/closings, etc. But what are the other choices in this profession? Take a look…

Career Aspects

To be a lawyer, or at least be in the field of law is a long harbored dream to many. Unfortunately though, not everyone can make it there. The reasons could be varied. Maybe it’s the financial aspect, maybe it’s the academic (some people just cannot make it through law school for so many years). Whatever the reason, there is a way to work around it. The way to work around it in law is by picking a career as a paralegal. One of the most common, and perhaps even the best option for a paralegal is to join a law firm. Once a person has chosen the path of a paralegal, he must be prepared to take care of all sorts of jobs, especially since it makes for a great learning experience. But, what are the duties of a paralegal? Let’s get a look at it…

Duties
The growth for paralegals is fairly substantial as compared to what it used to be at one time. Opportunities vary right

Paralegal Studies

Students are enrolled in colleges and universities throughout the nation in order to pursue their dreams, utilize their talents, and improve the world for future generations. If you are one of these students, and you are unsure about your career path, you may be interested in learning about the numerous opportunities that a paralegal career has to offer.

Advance your written and analytical skills

Aside from earning a degree, you must also improve your writing and analytical thinking skills throughout your college career in order to succeed as a paralegal. By sharpening your skills in organization, project management, and attention to detail, you can easily transition from being a student to having a career as a professional once you walk across the podium and receive your degree.

Network

While you are still enrolled in a college or university paralegal studies program, you should strive to meet as many people in the legal field as you can. By joining a paralegal association, you will have an opportunity to meet various legal professionals, who will provide you with career tips, resources, and new networking opportunities. Networking contacts can offer advice and recommendations, and can also support you during your search for new opportunities to use your talents, education, and past work experiences to positively impact the legal industry. Networking can help you pursue more business relationships, mentorships, and new jobs.

Law firms utilize paralegal talent for project management services

Project management services are in constant demand by law firms. As a result, while handling large discovery requests, attorneys often seek help from their paralegals, who will supervise document review, especially at firms that do not have permanent project management teams or large discovery litigation.

Paralegals operate facilities that create web-based review systems

In 2007, the federal rules that governed electronic discovery (eDiscovery) were changed,

What Does a Paralegal Do

As the name suggests, a paralegal is related to the field of law. They are not in mainstream legal procedures or lawsuits. A paralegal assists lawyers in things like interacting with the client for the first time, interviewing them, case preparation, legal research, courtroom assistance, draft legal documents, etc. A paralegal is a non-lawyer who assists lawyers in their day-to-day work.

Assisting lawyers can be one of the identifications for paralegals or they can have an independent status as license holders just like lawyers, who can offer legal services only in specific lower courts and administrative tribunals. However non-authorized paralegals cannot accept or present cases in any court, give legal advice, and set fees.

Law, being a very vast and complex field of profession, where all the details are kept in the mind while performing the duties, a paralegal is very helpful in assisting a lawyer and does the following:

– Interacting with the clients and interviewing them for the general basic requirements of a case, viz., facts of a case and interview the witnesses as well for their version of the story. Although this is not a very big deal which requires different set of skills, effective communication skills is one aspect which is very essential for the legal procedure, and takes up considerable amount of time from the lawyer’s schedule.
– Paralegals do the research work for every case with references provided by the lawyers, under whom they work. – Research also demands a huge chunk of time, which involves analyzing and organizing relevant material, gathering information, noting the key judgments, etc.
– Prepares documents for cases as well as for filing tax returns, drafting standard letters, for legal correspondence, letters for trust purposes, legal separation, contracts, agreements, etc.
– Paralegals also keep minute details

Paralegal Duties

The field of law is complex and constantly evolving. With the growing social, political, and economical fabric of the society, the challenge to maintain effective law and order has risen drastically. And so has the workload and stress on lawyers. Catering to the diverse cases in innumerable fields, a lawyers’ profession is generally a race against time! This race has necessitated the need of legal assistants, also called paralegals. Just like medical assistants assist doctors, legal assistants help lawyers in successfully completing their tasks.

Duties of a Paralegal
There are innumerable tasks that are expected from paralegals, right from researching a case, to filing of case forms in the courts. A paralegal is directed by senior lawyers to do thorough research for some case and then update the lawyer about the relevant points of the case. One of the duties is to check the legal documents, and validate them for submission in the court. These duties are not just limited to office work, they are also responsible for scheduling meetings, appointments, and locating witnesses for the lawyers. It won’t be an exaggeration if it is said that a paralegal forms an important part of a lawyer’s success.

A good paralegal can help his lawyer by executing his responsibilities in an excellent manner. His duties also include managing corporate clients, and acting as a source of communication between the lawyer and clients. Since the lawyers can’t always be available for meetings, paralegals are expected to manage and take necessary information from the clients.

There are various specializations of paralegals, and as per the industry they can have varied job descriptions. For example, paralegals working with attorneys in cases of medicines are called nurse paralegals, and they help in cases related to pharmacy! The duties of bankruptcy paralegals are

Legal Assistant Salary

No one can deny the workload and stress that lawyers, especially established ones, have to go through during their daily tasks of handling cases and proceedings. To reduce the workload of lawyers, assistance is of prime importance. This need of expert trainers who can help lawyers in carrying out various tasks has led to a drastic rise in legal assistant jobs. This job offers great career opportunities as it introduces them to practical experience in the law profession, that can be of significant value to their career development. Besides tremendous opportunities, the salary is also a driving factor that motivates aspirants to go for these jobs.

Job Description
Though lawyers are the main decision makers in chalking out the plan for handling a particular case, generally, they delegate their tasks to legal assistants or paralegals so that they can get time to handle other crucial parameters of the case. The most important task of legal assistants is to help lawyers prepare for closings, hearings, trails, and corporate meetings. They are expected to identify and submit reports, legal articles, corresponding case studies, judicial decisions, and other material for legal proceedings. In other words, they help in all types of work that require any legal formalities for any case.

Average Salary
Since legal assistants handle diverse challenges, their salary varies greatly. The income potential depends on education, training, and work experience. A legal assistant with training and education from a coveted institution is preferred by employers as it is an indication of the required skills in an employee. The size of the employer and geographic location also impacts the average salary. If an aspirant is working in a big law firm that has established itself over certain number of years, then he will be able to earn a

How to Become a Paralegal

The process of dispensing justice is complex, and it takes many hands and heads to ensure that justice is done. Right from the law enforcement agencies, to lawyers, judges, courts, and the support staff that makes this possible, all play an important role in the process. If you are the kind of person who believes in the ideas of fairness and justice, who enjoys researching and analyzing information, you may have it in you, what it takes to become a paralegal. These professionals assist a lawyer, in his research and lay all the groundwork for the case being argued, under his supervision.

Are you the kind of person who follows John Grisham novels? Do you enjoy watching and following courtroom dramas? Were you interested in being a part of the high school debating team but rather than arguing, you enjoyed being the researcher? Are you the kind of person who, instead of dashing into the limelight, prefers being in the background and doing your job thoroughly? Then, you should think about becoming a paralegal.

Job Description
Although, a paralegal is a legal assistant to a lawyer, he has no right to independently advise anybody on legal matters. An experienced legal assistant is like a lawyer’s shadow. He does a range of tasks, which primarily include the following:

– Handling of client interviews
– Contacting and following up with clients
– Conducting case investigation and witnessing interviews under a lawyer’s supervision
– Perform case background research and investigate facts
– Work on preparation of legal arguments
– Drafting legal arguments
– Organizing the entire documentation of case proceedings, research, and other paperwork
– Courtroom assistance to the lawyer during trial

These professionals are hired by law firms and individual lawyers, either as freshers or for their expertise in specific

Paralegal Job Description

If you are interested in a career as a paralegal, than look no further. The job is very similar to that of a lawyer, with the exception that the former can’t offer legal advice or represent cases in the court of law. These professionals step in to help the lawyers do the many tasks that are needed to build a court case.

Educational and Skill Requirements

A paralegal is required to have effective communication skills. He should have a thorough knowledge of legal terminology. Most of them specialize in the litigation process and are fully qualified to help out the attorneys. The educational requirement for this job is the knowledge of law and computers. You can take a certificate course to become one. Bachelor or Associate degrees are also available. These degrees take about two years for completion. You can also voluntarily opt for related certifications from National Association of Legal Assistants, National Federation of Paralegal Associations, or American Alliance of Paralegals. The work environment in this job is mainly indoors with occasional visits to law libraries and courts. These professionals work in many industries apart from the legal world, depending on the area of specialization they choose. For example, there are patent, bankruptcy, nurse, immigration, and real estate paralegals.

Duties and Responsibilities

He is responsible for collecting relevant information related to a case such as researching the case laws, etc. He is supposed to crosscheck the facts and their validity. These professionals help the lawyers by doing the preliminary research before a legal document can be prepared. They perform the task of summarizing and checking legal documents. The drafting of documents is handled by them. Simple tasks like locating the witnesses, preparing the pleading, and obtaining affidavits are carried out by these professionals. They also, at times,

Litigation Attorney Job Description

Litigation attorneys, also referred as trial lawyers or litigators handle civil cases and represent plaintiffs and defendants in civil, as well as criminal cases.

Job Description

For an attorney, there are a number of things involved in handling a typical case.

A basic task of a trial lawyer is that he or she carries out a preliminary investigation to make sure that there is adequate evidence for filing a lawsuit. Conversely, in case of the defendant, he checks whether the evidence is enough to defend that individual.

This initial investigation can involve finding witnesses, taking their statements, interviewing the client, gathering requisite documents, and investigating the facts leading to the potential case. Apart from this, litigators also engage in pre-litigation and trial settlement discussions for resolution of matters, prior to a lawsuit being filed.

Litigators draft a number of pleadings and motions, for representing the plaintiff or defendant. Typically, the summons and complaints are drafted by the plaintiff’s attorney for commencing the lawsuit. The defendant’s attorney responds on his behalf, to the summons.

This task of a litigation attorney is referred to as discovery. Here, typically, the parties involved in the case, exchange information related to the case. Interrogatives, depositions, and a few other devices are used by civil litigators for getting vital information related to the lawsuit. This is important for the attorneys, for the purpose of obtaining related information, identifying issues, and formulating a case strategy.

Another important thing an attorney is responsible for is the pre-trial stage, for which the attorneys get done with the discovery, weeks prior to the trial. That is when the pre-trial meetings happen. If the case is settled at the pre-trial stage, then the attorney will not have to see the courtroom for the trial.

Even for the pre-trial, they consult and advise their

Cause of Action

When an aggrieved party needs to file a civil or criminal lawsuit in the court of law, he or she needs to present a cause of action. On the basis of this, judicial action will be taken to provide relief to the aggrieved party or plaintiff. Under the English Law, this legal document is known as the Statement of Claim, and a Complaint in the U.S.

The legal definition is “The basis of a lawsuit that is founded on legal grounds and alleged facts which, if proved, would constitute all the ‘elements’ required by statute.”

What is it?
It is a technical law term used to explain facts that help give rise to a claim that can be put forth in a court. When someone’s legal rights are offended by any person or organization, the aggrieved party has a right to sue. With the help of this legal mechanism, a plaintiff needs to prove all the points covered that helps take the offending party to court.

It comes from either a statute passed by the parliament or from a common law. Judges, over time, form a common law based on similar cases bought to them in the court of law. These common laws help in development of cause of action required for different cases that need court action. The type will help determine which court will hear one’s case, i.e., civil or criminal court. Without a valid basis, no court will hear a dispute or pass a decision. The claim will be dismissed and the person filing the case may be asked to pay a fine.

What is the Need?
One needs a valid cause of action as there are many people who may suffer from a loss or injury. Everyone will seek legal action, and people will

Out of Court Settlement

An out of court settlement is a settlement that enables the plaintiff and the defendant as stated in a lawsuit filed before a court of law to discuss and end the dispute between themselves, without waiting for the outcome of the lawsuit. So, if the parties to the suit wish to settle a dispute without a trial, they can come together for such an alternative dispute resolution process.

Process

Such a settlement is a contract between the plaintiff and the defendant. It rests on the agreement between the parties involved, that the plaintiff gives up his/her/their right/ability to sue (if the right to sue has not yet been exercised), or if the plaintiff has sued (then to drop the suit) in return for a certainty that is woven into the agreement. The trial court involved would have the power to enforce the settlement agreed on between the plaintiff and the defendant. The trial court involved comes into the picture only when the settlement agreed to by the parties’ stands in breach. Then, the party in default can be sued in the court for the breach of trust. Depending on the State, the breach of contract by a party may also invite the original action prior to the settlement being restored. This helps ensure that despite going for a settlement out of court, a party if aggrieved subsequently has the right to legal recourse.

The settlement process necessitates that the agreement is put into legal force via a court order after a joint stipulation by the parties to the dispute. Such a settlement lays down a legal outline of what the parties should do or not do. It may also happen that the claim filed by an aggrieved party has been satisfied via a monetary/non-monetary consideration. In such

What is an Omnibus Hearing?

The term ‘omnibus’ is a French term with Latin origins. ‘Omni’ stands for ‘all’, ‘every’ or ‘for all’. It was first used as ‘voiture omnibus’, which means ‘carriage for all’. Many are familiar with the usage of this term in relation with a publication that holds several things at once or in relation with transportation. In legal terms, an omnibus is used to describe a legislation like an omnibus bill, which has the right to pass numerous amendments to a law, or multiple laws.

Definition
An omnibus hearing is a legal proceeding that takes place before the actual trial. It is scheduled at the same time the trial date is established, usually two weeks from the date of the arraignment, unless otherwise mentioned in court. The length of the hearing can vary depending on the complexity of the case. The main purpose of the hearing is to introduce evidence and facts like testimony from police officials, and any evidence seized at the time of arrest from the defendant, to the legal representative counsel and defendants (if they wish to be present). These evidences and facts are used in the actual trial in the court. An omnibus trial is to confirm that the legal rights of the defendant are being protected. Before a hearing can be held, the arraignment (or accusation in simpler terms) must occur. In this stage, the charges are read to the defendant, and he has an opportunity to file a petition. Such a hearing is held to guarantee that both the parties acquire any critical information concerning the case held by the other. It serves as an agreement that the evidence presented is considered as admissible and can be used in the trial. It also determines whether the findings like the available

Are Lawsuit Settlements Deductible?

Tax deductible items are expenses that can be subtracted from adjusted gross income so as to reduce the net taxable income. These allowable deductions are useful to the defendant, who may be forced to make disbursements in favor of the plaintiff, since tax deductible items have the effect of reducing the defendant’s tax burden. Are lawsuit settlements deductible? The answer to this question hinges on the nature of the settlement and the damages awarded to the plaintiff in a court of law.

Basics

Damages or monetary compensation awarded by a court in a civil action, to the plaintiff who has been injured by the action of the defendant, may be punitive or compensatory. The latter is awarded as compensation for actual damages, that can be quantified, as well as compensation for emotional distress. Needless to say, compensation for emotional distress cannot be measured in precise terms. Punitive damages are awarded to the defendant to forestall others from committing similar actions. These are awarded as payment for deliberate actions and negligent or fraudulent behavior. Armed with the knowledge of the classification of damages, we are now in a position to explore deductible lawsuit settlements.

Verifying if Lawsuit Settlements are Deductible

Tax treatment of the payor’s expenditure is as follows:

Tax Treatment for Corporates

The payor’s expenditure may be classified as deductible, capitalized, non-deductible, or non-capitalized expenditure. While the entire amount of deductible expenses can be subtracted from gross income, capitalizing expenses results in writing-off the amount of expenditure over an extended period of time.

Payments that are made by the defendant are tax deductible, provided they can be classified as reasonable, ordinary, and necessary business expenses. Expenses, that are required for producing income, may be tax deductible or the payor may have to capitalize and deduct these costs over time. Payments for

Concept of Breach of Trust

Enactments, laws and acts that are passed by legislative bodies, deal with specific domains of laws, for example, the Contract act deals with legally enforceable contracts, or the Bill of Rights deals with fundamental rights of the citizens of the United States. Unlike the contract law or the Bill of Rights, there is no specific enactment that deals with the breach of trust.

Breach of trust is an intentional or unintentional negligence of duty, abuse of position or fraud of legally bestowed trust, by a person or persons or a body corporate. There are three likely parties who can come into the picture. A trustee, a testator and beneficiary who are all tied to each other by a relationship that is known as a ‘fiduciary’ relationship.

In such a scenario, the trustee is a guardian, regent, consultant or any person who is authorized by law to be a trustee. A beneficiary is a person whose interest is safeguarded by the trustee. A testator is a person who requests the trustee to perform a selected function. The term testator is usually used in cases where a person appoints some other person, in his/her will, as a trustee for his/her beneficiary (legal heir).

If you look around, you will notice that there are several different fiduciary relations that come into existence every second. For example, when you go to a physician to get examined, a fiduciary relation is established, and if the physician finds that you are suffering from any symptoms, then he/she is obliged to disclose the facts immediately. In case of non disclosure, a breach of trust is said to have occurred.

Unintentional Breach of Trust

The hurdle that any court of law might face is that whether the breach was intentional or unintentional, and whether the fiduciary relationship

Probation Rules

In legal terminology, probation is the sentence imposed by the court of law on a person found guilty of certain charges. It is basically a sentence whereby the convict is put ‘on probation’ immediately, instead of serving time in jail, or after spending a brief time in jail. Thus the convict gets to spend a brief period of his term outside the jail, but under the supervision of the law enforcing authority. It is mandatory for the convict to abide by the rules of probation constituted by the authorities of the said jurisdiction.

Probation Rules and Regulations

Though the rules of probation may differ from one jurisdiction to another, most of these rules stress on the fact that the said person is under probation/parole, and hence, he will be under the supervision of the authorities for a certain period. These rules and regulations may also state that the person should restrain from doing certain activities during this period. Violation of these rules may call for further legal action, so anyone on probation should avail legal advice to make this period easy for himself. Some of the basic conditions of probation are discussed below.

– The convict should report to his/her probation officer or court as stipulated in the probation rules.
– He shouldn’t leave the area of jurisdiction without taking permission, in writing, from the probation officer or the person in charge.
– He should promptly notify the concerned authorities if his address, contact number, or any other personal information has changed.
– He shouldn’t get involved with other individuals accused of felony or any other misdemeanor.
– He should not possess or purchase any weapon which can be harmful for him or other people around.
– He should not possess any contraband items, including drugs and