Many people who are planning on becoming paralegals are curious about what their day to day working life will be like once they enter into the field. While daily schedules will vary greatly from one position to the next, most people work typical nine to five days.
During these days, though, the responsibilities will be based on the person’s exact job title and description. Fortunately, though, some things do remain constant amongst all paralegals, no matter how or where they work, so there always is some common ground to fall back on.
All paralegals, for example, will be required to perform legal research. For those working directly under lawyers, this research usually revolves around cases that the lawyer is working on. Those in other positions will simply do research dealing with their specific area of specialization. In any case, paralegals will take care of the research and then will document it via supporting memoranda.
All of this might take place through computerized search methods and/or manual search methods, so knowing how to handle both is important for all paralegals. Any good educational program will teach these skills to students before they graduate.
Paralegals also spend their days drafting necessary correspondence as it relates to the legal profession. This might include things like pleadings, contracts, and various other legal documents that their employers will need. Correspondence within the legal sector has rules and methods all its own, and in order to communicate effectively and properly, paralegals must be well versed in these standards. Again, these are all things that will and should be taught at any good higher learning institution.
If you are currently in a program and are not learning how to do these things, then you might want to reconsider your education. If you’re still looking for a program, then you might ask specifically about the skills that you will be taught within the program, just to make sure that important basics such as this are not overlooked.
Paralegals are also frequently called on to work directly with clients. They might, for example, meet with potential clients of a law firm in order to learn the details of their upcoming case and to let them know whether or not they can be helped by a specific attorney. They may also conduct interviews with those connected to a case in order to determine whether they would be useful to the attorney. Paralegals also get witnesses and other testifiers ready for their session in court.
Indeed, some paralegals will even take the stand themselves in the courtroom when necessary. It is important to note, though, that out of all of the things a paralegal can do, these professionals are never authorized to give any kind of legal advice. That is something that only lawyers themselves can do, and paralegals who do give legal advice are breaking the ethical code and, if found out, could run the risk of being severely punished or of losing their jobs.