Paralegals assist lawyers by preparing legal documents, conducting legal research, gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses and maintaining contact with clients. Paralegals also create and transport trial exhibits, take notes during meetings and maintain client files.
Corporate paralegals assist lawyers in creating legal documents, including employee contracts, shareholder agreements and annual reports. Corporate paralegals also research government and state regulations to ensure a company adheres to the laws created for specific industries.
Litigation paralegals gather and arrange evidence used in court cases. In addition, litigation paralegals also perform research, maintain legal files and assist lawyers in preparing witnesses and clients for upcoming trials.
Corporate and litigation paralegals supervise other paralegals and legal assistants. Depending on the size of the law firm, paralegals may also perform administrative tasks, such as reserving conference room space, organizing presentation documents and ensuring that all electronic equipment used during a presentation is working correctly.
Paralegals typically specialize in certain areas of law, such as personal injury, intellectual property, family and immigration. Paralegals work for small and large law firms, corporations and nonprofit organizations.
Paralegals must be proficient in online research and in using filing software. Paralegals should be familiar with various legal research databases to retrieve legal articles, briefs and case histories. In addition, paralegals must use software programs to update and maintain legal files.