Paralegals have one of the most versatile, exciting and challenging roles in the field of law, outside of being a trial lawyer. Paralegals take on many of the roles played by lawyers, including preparing cases for court, researching the most valid arguments, reviewing case facts, identifying the relevant laws, and ensuring all other relevant information is considered in a case. Thus, many paralegals continue building their experience to become higher-level legal professionals, including lawyers. (See: Advancing from Paralegal to Attorney)
Some of the tasks paralegals perform include:
- Investigating case facts
- Reviewing previous studies and judicial decisions
- Reporting discoveries to attorneys
- Building arguments for court
- Draft agreements and contracts
What Don’t Paralegals Do?
Unlike lawyers, paralegals do not provide what is considered the services of law, such as legal advice or opinions, directly to the public. Although they do have a level of law expertise obtained through specialized paralegal training, they are not required to pass the bar exam, making them ineligible to provide direct legal consultation.
Along with this, paralegals do not present information in court unless permitted to do so by their employers. With experience and continued training, though, paralegals can advance to these responsibilities.