Paralegals work with lawyers in almost every area of law, including criminal, civil, corporate, real estate and immigration. In addition to working in a law firm or corporation, some paralegals find opportunities within the judicial or court systems. Others may work in local, state or governmental agencies as well as banks, mortgage companies and other financial institutions. In these various environments, paralegals may hold different titles. Some of these titles include that of legal assistant, litigation assistant, judicial assistant or legal document specialist.
A very common title used by paralegals is that of legal assistant. This term describes the overall duties and role of the paralegal -- to provide assistance to professional lawyers. The title of legal assistant is used in a number of environments, especially in law firms. It is also common in corporations and governmental agencies.
Paralegals who work in the area of civil law or under the direction of a litigator may be given the title of litigation assistant. This includes firms specializing in personal injury, real estate foreclosures, insurance claims or advocacy. Responsibilities in this capacity may include drafting and filing court documents, scheduling hearings and depositions, and conducting legal research.
Legal Document or Legal Document Preparation Specialist
Paralegals who specialize in documents may be called a legal document specialist. Duties in this capacity might include preparing and maintaining documents, database management and assembling documents for court.
The judicial system often hires paralegals to work as assistants to court judges. These paralegals are referred to as judicial assistants. As judicial assistant may assist the judge with duties such as managing the court calendar, drafting court decisions and collecting court fees. Some clerical and administrative duties may also be required in this position.
Non-Law Firm Jobs
Outside of the law firm, paralegals may have a number of titles. When employed by a corporation, a paralegal may be called a contract administrator, legal analyst, legal services specialist or compliance/regulatory specialist depending upon the duties. In financial environments, this title may change to closing officer, loan documentation coordinator or bankruptcy/foreclosure specialist.
The Job Description of a Paralegal Manager
The International Paralegal Management Association (IPMA) is the leading authority for paralegal management professionals. The main requirement for membership could double as...
Job Description of a Prepress Specialist
Prepress specialists are employed by publishing, advertising and other firms that perform graphic designs services. These individuals ensure that all documents, graphics...
Difference Between Paralegal & Legal Assistant
The terms paralegal and legal assistant have been typically used interchangeably. However, in the past decade or so, paralegals and legal assistants...