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SO WHAT IS A PARALEGAL? Debbie Boyd, Charlton Troutner, and Ceney Brenes.

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Presentation on theme: "SO WHAT IS A PARALEGAL? Debbie Boyd, Charlton Troutner, and Ceney Brenes."— Presentation transcript:

1 SO WHAT IS A PARALEGAL? Debbie Boyd, Charlton Troutner, and Ceney Brenes

2 PARALEGALS INVESTIGATE FACTS OF CASES INVESTIGATE FACTS OF CASES INTERVIEW CLIENTS INTERVIEW CLIENTS RESEARCH LAWS AND PAST LEGAL CASES RESEARCH LAWS AND PAST LEGAL CASES REVIEW JUDICIAL DECISIONS AND LEGAL ARTICLES REVIEW JUDICIAL DECISIONS AND LEGAL ARTICLES ANALYZE AND ORGANIZE INFORMATION ANALYZE AND ORGANIZE INFORMATION PREPARE WRITTEN REPORTS PREPARE WRITTEN REPORTS PREPARE LEGAL DOCUMENTS PREPARE LEGAL DOCUMENTS DRAFT PLEADINGS AND MOTIONS DRAFT PLEADINGS AND MOTIONS OBTAIN AFFIDAVITS OBTAIN AFFIDAVITS ASSIST ATTORNEYS IN TRIAL ASSIST ATTORNEYS IN TRIAL

3 WHERE THERE’S A LAW THERE’S A PARALEGAL TORTSCONTRACTS PROPERTY LAW ESTATE LAW BUSINESS LAW EMPLOYMENT LAW FAMILY LAW CRIMINAL LAW ENVIRONMENTAL LAW INTERNATIONAL LAW

4 There are so many new law practices everyday…laws will always exist and there will always be and a need for lawyers and paralegals.

5 SO WHERE DO YOU FIND A PARALEGAL? COURT SYSTEMS COURT SYSTEMS PRIVATE LAW FIRMS PRIVATE LAW FIRMS CORPORATE LEGAL DEPARTMENTS CORPORATE LEGAL DEPARTMENTS INSURANCE COMPANIES INSURANCE COMPANIES REAL ESTATE AGENCIES REAL ESTATE AGENCIES TITLE/ ESCROW FIRMS TITLE/ ESCROW FIRMS BANKS BANKS HEALTH CARE ORGANIZATIONS HEALTH CARE ORGANIZATIONS NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL GOVT. AGENCIES FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL GOVT. AGENCIES CONSUMER ORGANIZATIONS CONSUMER ORGANIZATIONS

6 DOES IT PAY TO PARALEGAL? (U.S DEPT. OF LABOR EMPLOYMENT FOR PARALEGALS IS PROJECTED TO GROW MUCH FASTER THAN AVERAGE FOR ALL OCCUPATIONS THROUGH IN MAY 2004, THE MIDDLE 50% EARNED BETWEEN $31,040 AND $49,950. IN ADDITION TO EARNING A SALARY, MANY PARALEGALS RECEIVED BONUSES.

7 Paralegal vs. Attorney at Law Paralegals must always remember that as part of the legal profession they are required to maintain demanding ethical standards. The following three “keynotes” ( as stated in Intro to Law for Paralegals, 3rd ed. by Currier and Eimermann) are of special importance to paralegals.

8 #1 Paralegals are not attorneys and therefore cannot give legal advice, sign court documents, or appear in court on behalf of a client. To do so is the unauthorized practice of law, a crime in most states.

9 #2 Attorneys and their staff must respect the confidentiality of the client-attorney relationship. You must treat anything you l earn as a paralegal as confidential and not discuss it with anyone- even your spouse or other family member.

10 #3 Clients expect their attorneys and staff to be loyal to them. Therefore, if you change employers, you must alert your new employer to any cases with with which you were involved while working for your former firm. Not to do so means running the risk of creating a conflict of interest for the firm.

11 The Truth, The Whole Truth, And Nothing But The Truth Information used in this presentation and sources useful in obtaining more information on the Paralegal profession are as follows: Introduction to Law for Paralegals by Currier and Eimermann US Dept. of Labor Bureau of Labor National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc. Standing Committee on Paralegals, American Bar Association, 321 North Clark St. Chicago Il National Federation of Paralegal Association, 2517 Eastlake Ave. East, Suite 200. Seatt;e. WA American Association for Paralegal Education, 19 Mantua Rd., Mt. Royal, NJ

12 SO YOU WANT TO BE A PARALEGAL? SO YOU WANT TO HIRE A PARALEGAL? May the law lead you in the right direction.


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