Paralegals are knowledgeable about the legal system and do legal work under the supervision of an attorney. Paralegals assist with client interviews, legal research, legal documents, trial exhibits, draft contracts, compliance forms, and manage cases. Paralegals can draft legal documents including for adoptions, divorce, custody, business agreements, bankruptcy, and prenuptial agreements. Paralegals are sometimes known as legal assistants. Paralegal duties vary within each the legal jurisdiction.
Finding the best paralegal is always a difficult challenge. The Paralegal Directory Online makes the selection process easier. Paralegal profiles contain the knowledge, skill and expertise of each experienced paralegal. Paralegals can provide assistance to help your situation.
Legal issues are a major part of everyday life. Find a paralegal who practices in your geographical area and within specific area of law for your situation. A local paralegal is typically your best source of information. We suggest that you make contact with several paralegals to find assistance that you are comfortable with.
The legal assistant concept began to emerge in the late 1960's when law firms sought ways to improve the efficient and cost effective delivery of legal services. 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. This person 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 standards and rules of professional responsibility.
Can a Paralegal represent a client in Court?
The practice of law is regulated by each of the 50 U.S. states. In all states, legal assistants and paralegals are prohibited from practicing law without a license. Legal assistants and paralegals cannot give legal advice. Legal advice can only be given by a licensed lawyer (attorney). Generally, paralegals may not represent clients in court, take depositions, or sign pleadings. Paralegals may not establish the attorney's relationship with the client or set fees to be charged.
What is an LDA “Legal Document Assistant”?
Legal Document Assistants (LDA) were commonly known as Independent Paralegals. However, as of January 1st, 2000, only those paralegals working directly for a lawyer attorney may now be referred to as Paralegals. Those formerly known as Independent Paralegals are now officially known as Legal Document Assistants (LDA's). LDAs are prohibited from calling themselves paralegals. LDAs are required by law to be registered and bonded in the county in which they have their registration valid for two years. However, paralegals are not required to register as they work for attorneys and not for consumers.
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