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What to expect as a paralegal. Before becoming a paralegal, it is important to understand what you are getting yourself into. For starters, do you know who a paralegal is?
By legal definition, a paralegal is a qualified individual, either by education or experience, who is employed by an attorney, law firm or organization to perform specific legal work delegated by the attorney supervising them. Now in some provinces in Canada, you do not need to have a supervising attorney as long as you are licensed by the Law Society as a certified paralegal.
What to expect as a paralegal
How do you become a paralegal?
As the definition mentions, you need training in the law to become a paralegal. You can acquire training by taking a law course either physically or online and getting a certificate in the course.
Alternatively, you can acquire knowledge of the law through experience, by working in government jobs that bring you face to face with matters about the law. Some provinces demand that you have some background in law enforcement to become a paralegal. This gives you a direct understanding of what is permitted in the law, and what goes against the law.
That said, you need to understand the roles that you will be expected to play in the organization that you work for. These roles include:
- Drafting legal documents- these include subpoenas, demand letters, agreements and so on
- Reviewing contracts and depositions- small details in the paperwork can easily get the claim thrown out of court. You must ensure that nothing wrong is left in the paperwork
Assessing potential personal injury cases- clients can come up with false information to get compensation for an injury that they probably caused or were party to causing it. It is up to you to go through all the evidence brought forward, interview, witnesses and check records to ascertain that the client was indeed innocent in the damage
- Conducting legal research- lawsuits and claims run on the backbone of research. You need to look for precedents and laws that align with your claim
- Preparation of discovery notices
- Conducting interviews with clients and witnesses
- Correspondence with clients
- Helping with court litigation
Can I charge my paralegal services?
Some companies allow their paralegals to work independently. A paralegal can source their clients and charge for the services that he or she can legally offer as a paralegal like drafting papers, fighting traffic tickets, and so on.
In provinces where you are allowed to work independently as long as you are licensed, then you can operate fully and charge for all your services. Some companies, especially law firms, take up paralegals to lower the legal fees they charge their clients thus attracting more clients. In such a case, you are paid a sum for each service you render.
These are just some aspects on what to expect as a paralegal. Becoming a paralegal is not as hard as it may have been made to seem. With a clear understanding of your role and expectations, you can easily make a career out of this.
There are more articles on our website you may benefits from. Check out the links below:
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- Qualities of a Good Process Server
- Defining The Canadian Paralegal
- Services Offered By A Process Server
- Who Can Be A Paralegal?
- Is Being A Paralegal Worth It?
- What Do Paralegals Do In A Law Firm?