For years, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics has predicted a positive outlook on employment opportunities for paralegals (see http://www.paralegal.edu/paralegal-profession/ for more details on this!). Over time, more and more people started exploring this legal profession. Now, the public has begun to understand the significance of the work that paralegals provide. As a result of this realization and the effective work of thousands of paralegals, the paralegal profession has increased in status and recognition. In reality, its the paralegal work that provides the foundation for an attorney's success. Find out how below.
Making the Difference
In spite of people’s increasing awareness about this emerging legal profession, few may actually know what paralegals contribute to court hearings and proceedings. Often, people think paralegals sit at their desks all day and perform simple tasks for their employers. Even though administrative duties are generally a part of the paralegal's job description, what people may not realize is the impact a paralegal's contributions make in attaining justice.
Managing case files, calendaring, keeping the attorney organized, communicating vital information about a case, attending a mediation or hearing, or assisting the attorney in court are all responsibilities paralegals take seriously. More often than not, they are the real heroes and defenders of justice who work judiciously and dedicatedly behind the scenes.
Gathering the Evidence
Did you know that paralegals are key to facilitating the gathering of crucial court evidence? Through effective communication skills and their network of contacts, paralegals can obtain a specific piece of evidence or gather enough supporting documents to help lawyers win their case. Paralegals can be miracle workers, although their employers may get the credit for their contributions.
Lending an Ear
Haven’t you wondered who deals with all the drama in court hearings? Evidently, lawyers have no time for such things. Paralegals, however, often act as buffers or shock absorbers when handling clients’ personal concerns. Whether it’s a heartbroken housewife filing for a divorce, an emotionally traumatized teen disowning involvement in a crime, or an incapacitated individual filing a personal injury claim – it’s the paralegal who often acts as counselor and confidant, lending an ear and giving the encouragement and reassurance they need.
Challenging All the Way
As you know that often the smallest and seemingly insignificant things actually make a difference in the success of a case. The smallest detail can change a verdict and forever transform the lives of the people involved. All the filing, researching, and documenting – everything is important. And while other legal professionals may not invest their time in such things, it’s the paralegal that is responsible to perform this highly demanding and vital work. The lawyers may be able to make a strong case, but the advantage is theirs if they build it with the help of a paralegal.
Paralegal Work Changes Lives
In reality, behind every successful lawyer there is likely a paralegal. Without one, attorneys generally are not able to attain the level of success desired. The ability paralegals have to help bring all the puzzle pieces to the table is not only highly admirable, it is crucial to cases, court proceedings, and the lives of the clients.
Without paralegals, the legal industry simply wouldn’t be the same. It's simplistic but true; paralegals are today’s real heroes and defenders of justice.
The paralegal field is a growing profession in high demand. If you are interested in the law, desire to help others, and want to begin or advance your career, find out more by calling us at 800-446-6931
Gail Armatys, Co-Founder & CAO
Center for Advanced Legal Studies