In the state of North Carolina, and throughout the rest of the nation, paralegals with the proper training and backgrounds can work in a wide variety of different capacities. When most people think of paralegals, they simply think of them as working in law firms, side by side with an attorney.
While this certainly is a valid and common way in which to work, it isn’t the only one. Paralegals can choose from a variety of different work settings and responsibilities. For best results, though, if you know you wish to do something more specialized, you will want to plan your education accordingly.
In North Carolina, corporate paralegals are extremely common. They may work with a lawyer who is employed by one specific corporation or company, or they may work with a lawyer who is just a general corporate attorney.
In any case, their job responsibilities typically include drafting and editing contracts, other types of business agreements, and general legal documents necessary in the business world.
They are also expected to be on top of corporate law regulations and changes and to inform their superiors of information that they need to be aware of.
Then, of course, you have your probate paralegals, who are also widespread in the state. Probate paralegals work directly with an attorney’s clients and tend to have a lot more responsibility than just general paralegals.
They will conduct interviews with clients, sometimes in order to determine if they can be helped by the attorney, and sometimes to see if they would make good witnesses in a case.
They may also draft wills or work in estate planning. Many work in the probate courts as well. Generally, special training is preferred for those who are planning to work as probate paralegals.
Litigation paralegals are regularly seen professionals as well. They are the ones you will find buried behind law books, doing research until late into the night. That is because their job involves researching various cases or brushing up on laws and past rulings related to a current case.
These professionals can analyze evidence admissible in court, create and present reports, and perform clerical duties as well. In some larger firms, however, clerical duties will be delegated to others, leaving the litigation paralegal more time to do his or her job.
You also have real estate paralegals, professionals who, as their name implies, deal in laws and agreements related to the real estate market. They may draft and prepare leases and deeds, and control and advise on sales and financing as they relate to the industry. It is important to note that while these and all other paralegals may provide advice to their employers, they are never, at any time, to provide legal advice to actual clients. Doing so would be considered unethical.
These are just a few of the many paralegal career options you’ll find in the state. There are also employment paralegals, human services paralegals, immigration paralegals, and so many others.