Although lawyers assume ultimate responsibility for legal work, paralegals provide the legal profession with a cost-effective alternative to discover, produce, and compile the legal work. A paralegal is not a legal secretary, but instead a vital, educated member of a legal services team. Paralegal employment is expected to grow much faster than average for at least the next decade. Paralegals, also known as Legal Assistants, work closely with attorneys to assist in:
- Performing legal and factual research.
- Drafting documents for filing with courts and agencies.
- Drafting contracts, mortgages, and all manner of legal agreements.
- Organizing trial documents, evidence, preparing witnesses & assisting at trials.
- Performing closings and title examinations.
- As well as many other substantial legal tasks.
A paralegal is not licensed to practice law but performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible. A paralegal is bound to the same ethical principles as a lawyer.