Q620413

List of Paralegal : Vote for your favorites.

List of Paralegal    : Vote for your favorites.

A paralegal is an individual, qualified by education, training or work experience, who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, governmental agency, or other entity and who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible. However, this definition can vary depending on the jurisdiction, for example in Ontario, Canadian paralegals are independent legal practitioners, licensed by the Law Society of Upper Canada to provide legal services within their scope of practice to members of the public. Licensed paralegals in Ontario may manage their own legal firm or be appointed as a justice of the peace and have the opportunity to seek employment as a municipal or provincial prosecutor.

A paralegal is a person trained in legal matters who performs tasks requiring knowledge of the law and legal procedures. A paralegal, like a lawyer, can be employed by a law office or work freelance at a company or law office. Paralegals are not allowed to offer legal services directly to the public on their own and must perform their legal work under an attorney or law firm (except in Ontario Canada). Many paralegals may have their own company and be called Law Agents, providing services such as settlements, court filings, legal research and other auxiliary legal services. These tasks often have instructions from a solicitor attached. Other tasks may only be the title of a task to be performed with no instructions of how it is to be completed. Often the instructing legal entity relies on the expertise of a paralegal in regard to how compliance is to be met in completing tasks.

A paralegal is protected under the conduit theory, which means he or she is working as an enhancement of an attorney and what he or she does is due to instruction by the attorney and the attorney is ultimately responsible. Paralegals often have taken a prescribed series of courses in law and legal processes. Paralegals may analyze and summarize depositions, prepare and answer interrogatories, draft procedural motions and other routine briefs, perform legal research and analysis, draft research memos, and perform case and project management. Paralegals often handle drafting much of the paper work in probate cases, divorce actions, bankruptcies, and investigations. Consumers of legal services are typically billed for the time paralegals spend on their cases.

The definition of paralegal varies by country. In the United States, they are not authorized by the government or other agency to offer legal services in the same way as lawyers, nor are they officers of the court, nor are they usually subject to government-sanctioned or court-sanctioned rules of conduct. In contrast, in Ontario, Canada, paralegals are licensed and regulated the same way that lawyers are. In Ontario, licensed paralegals provide permitted legal services to the public and appear before certain lower level courts and administrative tribunals.

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