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What is a Paralegal?

Paralegals work under the supervision of an attorney in private law firms, businesses, public interest and legal aid organizations, governmental agencies, and corporate law departments. They perform a wide variety of legal tasks, such as drafting legal documents, assisting in civil or criminal trial preparation, and preparing articles of incorporation. Their work enables the supervising attorneys to meet the needs of clients more effectively and to more efficiently address the complex problems demanding legal expertise.

Paralegals work in many different areas of the law, such as litigation, real estate, corporate, probate and estate planning, family law, environmental, employment, intellectual property, and bankruptcy. Working only under the supervision of attorneys, paralegals:

  • Interview clients and witnesses;
  • Conduct legal research and investigation;
  • Prepare legal documents and correspondence;
  • Assist at trials and hearings;
  • Analyze complex prodecures and transactions; and
  • Draft legal pleadings and memoranda.

Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public except as provided by law. The Paralegal Studies program is not designed to prepare students for law school.

For more information on the paralegal profession visit www.paralegals.org.