Paralegals play an important role in the legal system. They are considered to be the ‘fourth arm of the legal profession’. A paralegal is not a qualified solicitor, barrister or chartered legal executive. He may work within a legal environment and can provide legal services in huge companies as well as nonprofit and government organizations. There are different possible career options for paralegals and those are corporate paralegal, bankruptcy paralegal, criminal law paralegal, legal assistant, immigration law paralegal, legal secretary, litigation paralegal and personal injury paralegal.
A corporate paralegal assists lawyers with the planning of company transactions and matters related to the businesses. Corporate paralegals make sure that the companies have the required paperwork and filed them as per the applicable federal and state laws. A corporate paralegal specializes in understanding employment laws, contract law, banking, finance, securities and mergers and acquisitions.
A bankruptcy paralegal directs a debtor through legally approved processes that helps him to be relieved of that debt through negotiations with creditors and the court.
A criminal law paralegal assists the criminal defense attorneys and prosecutors. They support the attorneys in filing of cases for or against accused criminals.
A legal assistant supports lawyers in researching and preparing for trials.
An immigration paralegal works for immigration lawyers, who help clients obtain visas, become legal residents and solve immigration related problems. They may also help attorneys who provide services to US citizens for completing the adoption process of children from other countries.
A legal secretary provides administrative support to lawyers and paralegals by performing legal research and drafting of legal documents. Their duties also include answering phone calls, scheduling meetings and appointments and maintaining reminders.
A litigation paralegal may help in testifying witnesses and gathering facts in the case file. Their job starts with identification and investigation of the facts related to the case. A litigation paralegal may write and file and assist attorneys to prepare witnesses, evaluate jurors, act as a connection between all the parties related to the case.
A personal injury paralegal main responsibilities include interviewing clients, taking notes, creating detailed records, organizing legal research, making sure that all documents are properly filed with the court in a timely manner. A personal injury paralegal may help in a settlement negotiation, which also involves research and analysis.
In the United States Court system, there are many other law-related careers which has its own educational requirements and more qualifications and experience will be needed if one plans to become a lawyer.
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