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 of hearings, meetings, agendas, important deadlines, appointments, keep a track of the working hours spent on a case, etc.
– Preparing for the administrative formalities, making or procuring affidavits also come under the job description.
In the court, the paralegal helps the lawyer with the documents, handing them to him as and when he calls for it. Paralegals also help in filling up forms or petitions and thus rendering ample time to his boss to work towards the trial.
– Prepares written reports, attends court and administrative hearings and trials with the lawyer. Though most of the things that paralegals do may seem clerical in nature, they are of utmost importance in the whole legal arena.

The salary depends not only upon the size and strength of the firm he is with, but also the amount of work he is assigned among the ones mentioned above. Hope this article helped you in knowing what a paralegal does.

How Much Does a Lawyer Make

Being a successful lawyer has always been a dream of several young college students. However, only those who are genuinely interested in this field can survive here for a long time. The competition here is very tough you will need a bachelor’s or preferably a master’s degree in law from a reputed college to make a place for yourself. Lawyers are of different kinds – tax lawyers, business lawyers, criminal defense lawyers, immigration lawyers, etc. All these professionals are known to earn well if they have sufficient years of experience.

Income of a Lawyer

As per the various salary surveys, the median salary of lawyers is around USD 92,000. However, the salaries for the beginners having less experience were found to be in the range of USD 30,000 to USD 42,000. On the contrary, highly experienced and successful lawyers who have spent ten to fifteen years in the legal field can easily earn around USD 150,000. The salary of those with three to five years of experience can be anything in between USD 40,000 to USD 60,000 a year.

The main aspect of the job of tax attorneys is related to the important tax laws and the Internal Revenue Service. The tax attorneys have a profound knowledge of the rules and regulations of income tax, gift tax, property tax, excise duty, and international taxes and they provide proper service to their clients by explaining these concepts to them in an easily understandable manner. These types of lawyers cater to individual tax payers as well as the corporate clients. In the case of corporate clients, the income generated by the tax attorneys is much more than that compared to the individual clients. The lawyers who have their own law firm are known to earn more than those who work in private or government organizations. A good tax lawyer is aware of the changes made in the system and helps the common people understand the laws which might be difficult to grasp from the law books. Now, let us discuss the income of the tax lawyers. While the salaries in the rural areas are believed to be in the range of USD 35,000 to USD 50,000, those working in the urban areas can draw around USD 60,000 on an average. On the upside, the salaries can go as high as USD 100,000 with sufficient years of working experience. The tax lawyers or attorneys are believed to earn a decent salary, especially in the metropolitan cities.

The business lawyers too are very much in demand, as their work is associated with giving legal guidance or assistance to the corporate and business powerhouses. Business lawyers either work as permanent employees or on a contract basis for reputed multinational companies. The median salary of business lawyers can be in excess of USD 100,000, with around ten years of experience. However, in some exceptional cases, the salary can be more than USD 175,000.

A criminal defense lawyer, whose job is to defend the people accused of different kinds of criminal offenses can expect to earn anything in between USD 55,000 to USD 75,000 after a few years of quality experience. The highly experienced criminal defense lawyers are known to earn handsome salaries in excess of USD 170,000 per year.

Though this article has answered your question, you will have to work hard to achieve these salaries. Lawyers who give special attention on increasing their legal knowledge with every case have a bright future in this field.