Paralegals can be delegated any task normally performed by a lawyer, as long as the lawyer supervises the work, except those prescribed by law. Paralegals can review and organize client files, conduct factual and legal research, prepare documents for legal transactions, draft pleadings and discovery notices, interview clients and witnesses, and assist at closings and trials. The paralegal may also aid the lawyer in administering trusts and estates, assisting with real estate transactions, drafting certificates and corporate documents needed by state law to form various business entities as well as assisting in client-related matters that do not require a law degree.
The National Federation of Paralegal Associations defines a paralegal as “…a person qualified through education, training or work experience, to perform substantive legal work that requires knowledge of legal concepts and is customarily, but not exclusively, performed by a lawyer. Paralegals may be retained or employed by a lawyer, law office, governmental agency, or other entity or may be authorized by administrative, statutory or court authority to perform this work.” Paralegals adhere to recognized ethical standard sand rules of professional responsibility.
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