(Closed) Paralegal bees….

posted 5 years ago in Career
Post # 4
2320 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I’m PMing you, but I will post a bit here so other bees can see it chime in.

I’m not currently a paralegal (I do have a paralegal degree) but instead I’m a file clerk.  Every firm is different in the way they view the role of a paralegal, some firms don’t have paralegals instead they have legal assistants which is different from a legal secretary (even though they may call themselves an assistant).

Anyway, the firm that I work at does mainly construction defect which involves many parties and lots and lots of paper.  The paralegals here review the produced documents and help locate pages that the attorney deems important to a case. They also put together binders and exhibits for depositions, mediations, etc.   They help organize production from our own clients and send that out to other parties, etc.  There are probably a million little other things they do that I’m not aware of!

Post # 6
2419 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

I have a degree as a legal administrative assistant. I work as a legal secretary but I also do some of the basic functions of a paralegal.

I work for a mid-size firm with about 20 attorneys and I “work” for 5 or 6 of them at any given time. I type letters, schedule Hearings, help prepare Wills, Pre and Post Nups, help attorneys prepare for trial and pretty much whatever else I’m told to do.


Post # 7
5494 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2011

@mayflowerbride13:  I’m a lawyer not a paralegal but maybe I can provide some insight.

I have a paralegal and a legal secretary and their job descriptions are very different.  However as a PP said, the job discription varies greatly from firm to firm so don’t get too caught up in what I say.  Also if you work a smaller firm you will be wearing many more hats than at a big firm where your job duties might be much more rigid.

My paralegal:

-handles the majority of client contact unless legal advice or decision making is required.

-Prepares responses to discovery for my review

-Handles the day to day of pre-litigation matters with my supervision.

-Handles obtaining documents via subpoenas and authorizations

-Handles all communications and assignments with investigators, translators, attorney services and other necessary outside vendors

-many other tasks

This is not a clerical job at all.  Requires good analytical and critical thinking skills

On the other hand my legal secretary handles the more clerical aspect:

-keeping my calendar and reminding me of due dates and apperances

-formating and finalizing documents for filing or service

-preparing form documents for my review

-sends out and arranges service of all documents

-sets up depositions and mediations and deals with court clerks getting hearing dates, etc.

-prepares documents needed for trial


feel free to PM me if you have any questions

Post # 8
543 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I am a paralegal. Do not have a paralegal degree but a criminal justice degree as I wanted to work in the criminal law field. All paralegal responsibilties will vary firm to firm. Do you know what type of law you would want to work for? A paralegal degree would be very generalized, so maybe would be better to go back to school for something closer related to the type of law you want to work in? I know I worked in real estate before my latest job and I knew nothing about the RE field!

Post # 9
3947 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I do all of the above that Meowkers mentioned and I always refer to myself as a “paralegal” but am usually called a “legal assistant”.

I have an English degree, nothing more.  I didn’t need a Paralegal certification to get any of the legal jobs I have/had.

I started out at a small law firm with 2 attorney’s and was there for 5 years and eventually became the Office Manager.

My Husband’s job moved us and will most likely move us again, so I’m doing contract work – which has been AWESOME.  I’m working at a law firm right now (very famous one) that I have my own private office, computer, etc. and lots of great benefits.  My hours are more flexible than in my previous job and I’m pretty much left to my own.  While it is temporary, I know I won’t have a problem finding more work if they don’t decide to take me on as a full time employee.

If you can handle the stress and the world load, it’s a great field to be in.

Post # 11
3947 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

@mayflowerbride13:   I have down days, but then I have days that I work 8am to 10pm Monday-Sunday.  But I’m also currently working in class action, which means lots and lots and lots of paperwork. 

There are different kinds of law to get into and it all depends on the firm, but I definitely don’t think you need to go back to school to do it.

Post # 12
2908 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I’m a lawyer, and my fiance is starting school (an associate’s degree) in the fall to become a paralegal. 

I work at an institutional criminal defense provider, and our paralegals are awesome! We have two grades of paralegal – one is more of a “legal assistant” type – they mostly do data entry and filing and help to keep us organized in court. The second type does more traditional paralegal-type work. They write subpoenas and orders for the court to sign, they serve documents on the court and prosecutor’s office, work with the court clerk’s office to get us needed documents, help us write and review motions and help us out with legal research as needed. 

Post # 14
3947 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

@mayflowerbride13:  wha…another reason to love Canada!  No joke.  I want to move to Canada.  Haha.

Post # 16
1332 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I am a paralegal but 2nd behind the main paralegal in our firm.  I have a BS and a paralegal degree.  I mainly deal with the medical side of our firm.  I order and read and review and summarize all the medical records that come in on each client.  I also do other random tasks like keep contact with clients, order needed information, talk with the court, calendar, and set up new client interviews and intakes.

The main paralegal does all the pleadings and we both work on getting stuff ready for trial/arbs/mediations.

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