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A Day in the Life of a Paralegal

Learn the daily routines of a paralegal!

Are you wondering what it’s like to be a paralegal in the workforce?  What, in fact, should you expect working as a professional legal assistant? If you’re thinking about going to career training school to become a paralegal, it may help you to learn what a typical workday is like, who you’ll be working for, and what your daily duties will include. Here is a guide to a day in the life of a paralegal:

Work hours

Most paralegals work full-time and are required to work a typical 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. work shift. However, many paralegals tend to work overtime because of deadlines or if more research is needed to give to attorneys so they can prepare for depositions and other legal hearings.

Your day will likely begin with large amounts of papers and folders on your desk. Most paralegals start by checking their email to get a sense of what duties are needed quickly so they can manage their deadlines appropriately.

Throughout the day, you will be busy writing reports and conducting administrative duties. Sometimes, new witnesses or information presents itself so you will have to extend your day to look up more legal precedents to give to lawyers. Attorneys will need new legal information and research to prepare for their cases, so you may have to rearrange your schedule to accommodate specific cases throughout the day.

Responsibilities

Paralegals need to be well-organized, efficient, and communicative. A paralegal’s responsibilities may range from legal research to clerical tasks. Depending on your specialty, you may perform a variety of different tasks. Paralegals may work in bankruptcy, corporate, foreclosures, intellectual property, or litigation law to name a few. In smaller firms, a paralegal’s duties may vary more.

Some general daily duties you will take on include:

  • Review and organize client files
  • Correspond with clients, counsel, and witnesses
  • Draft documents
  • Research case law
  • Search for legal facts
  • Summarize documents and legal articles
  • Analyze records from courts or agencies
  • Prepare clients for court hearings
  • Maintain financial records

Work environment

A typical work environment for a paralegal is in the offices of lawyers, law firms, corporations, or government agencies. You will most likely have a desk and computer where you can research legal precedents. Most law offices have access to legal books and references so you can find information faster. However, paralegals don’t have to be seated at a desk all the time. They may also attend depositions at the courthouse. They also get to visit with many clients and witnesses to gather information for the case.

Co-workers

As a paralegal, you will be assisting attorneys every day. Usually, you will be helping several different attorneys at a time with different legal cases or issues. You will need to communicate with attorneys about the case facts, legal regulations, and any relevant background information. Paralegals will also need to help prepare them for hearings, trials, and corporate meetings. You may also be able to split duties with other paralegals who work in your office.

Without paralegals, lawyers may not have the time to access legal information that could help them win a case. If you’re someone who likes to be a team player, research, and take initiative, then consider applying to a paralegal training program. You may have the ability to learn new details about law (sometimes in specific fields) and further your knowledge of law with a hands-on approach. Your hard work could help you gain the background you need to advance your skill set!

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Branford Hall Career Institute offers career training programs in the legal, health, and technology fields. If you’re considering paralegal schools, contact us to learn more information about our training program and its benefits. Our campuses are located in New Jersey, New York, and Conneticut. We look forward to hearing from you.