Lawyers are ultimately responsible for the work performed byt heir paralegals. Lawyers are responsible for the ethical conduct of the paralegals whom they employ. Lawyers who supervise paralegals must develop, implement, and enforce policies to ensure that paralegals understand how their conduct must conform to lawyer’s professional obligations. Paralegals may not be partners or shareholders in a law firm. Attorneys may not split legal fees with paralegals nor pay paralegals for the referral of legal business.
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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