A paralegal is a very common type of legal professional and they are trained by law schools and companies to assist attorneys, do legal research, and draft documents. When you search for Paralegal jobs, you will find many opportunities in the field and it can be hard to know which one is the right opportunity for you. There are some key differences between being a Paralegal as opposed to an attorney or legal assistant like kate mcewen now that can help you make this decision. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Legal assistants may be more suited if you want more of an office environment with less courtroom experience while Legal Assistants may be better suited if you want more courtroom experience but less time in the office strategy sessions.
1. Paralegal versus Legal Assistant
There are many different roles that a legal professional can do. Depending on your education and experience, you can focus on just one area or branch out. If you’re new to the field, being a paralegal is a great starting point. They are providers of support services who assist attorneys in meeting their professional responsibilities which include research and analytical ability, law practice management, and legal strategy. Legal assistants may be more suited if you want more of an office environment with less courtroom experience while Legal Assistants may be better suited if you want more courtroom experience but less time in the office strategy sessions. Paralegals perform similar duties to legal assistants but must have a higher educational level. Legal Assistants can also be found at some paralegal jobs.
2. Paralegal versus Lawyers
Can paralegals work independently? Yes, in fact some do and it is becoming more common for them to do so as the role continues to grow and evolve. Similar to Legal Assistants, they help their employer with legal work that cannot be done by an attorney under the supervision of an attorney. Some of the cases they will handle include foreclosure, commercial law, and landlord tenant disputes among others.
The legal field is a dynamic career that can be right for you if you want to help people, have a challenging and rewarding career, enjoy being around the law and want to make sure it is followed properly or even if you just want to learn more about the legal system. Paralegals are in high demand and growing in numbers. This is excellent news for those considering their future as a paralegal professional. To increase your chances of landing a job, it’s important to understand the different facets of work in this field. There are other options besides paralegal jobs available, but this is one that has extremely high competition which makes it desirable due to its exclusiveness.
3. Paralegal versus Legal Executives
Legal executives perform highly specialized legal work, usually in a role as an in-house counsel at a company as opposed to being an attorney that is hired by the client and employed by the firm. They usually have extensive educational backgrounds and training which is why they can perform more specialized tasks than paralegals. A paralegal is most often employed by a law firm or corporation, who are seeking their assistance. Paralegals will organize trial evidence (this can be done by both paralegals and legal executives), draft papers for pleadings or motions, and research matters for their employer.
4. Paralegal versus Clerks
Clerks are employed by judges and assigned to a specific courtroom while they clerk. The clerks job is to assist the judge in keeping the flow of information running smoothly and making sure that documents are properly prepared, filed, and found. They may be responsible for working court summonses, jury trials, bailiff duties and many other tasks.
Clerks are expected to have an excellent grasp of writing skills as well as a good understanding of numerous legal codes and procedures but not be trained lawyers themselves. Paralegals however do not have to deal with court cases directly but can still perform many tasks that they would otherwise handle.
They may be required to investigate a case, attend hearings and assist in the trial preparation for the lawyers handling the case. Paralegals can work for different companies or organizations including those that need help filing documents, legal research or project management. Working for a law firm can give you a good feel for how everything works but working in-house can offer experience that will help you better understand how to handle various situations in your role as a paralegal.
5. Paralegal versus Legal Technicians
Legal technicians are not as common as paralegals but they do have many of the same duties and responsibilities. They are also tasked with analyzing cases, investigating matters and providing support services to attorneys. They are licensed in their state, and must complete a certain amount of required classroom hours to maintain their license. While paralegals can usually only complete a Certificate or Associates degree program, legal technicians are eligible for Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, allowing them to take on more complicated projects.
6. Paralegal versus Legal Document Assistants (LDA)
This is another type of paralegal job that is becoming more popular but they are not as common as legal assistants or paralegals. They work under the supervision of an attorney who hires them to perform tasks that are repetitive or routine in nature.