What does a day in the life of a paralegal look like? This is an interesting question – one that those considering law may be asking themselves. While the day-to-day functions of a paralegal can differ from firm to firm and person to person, every paralegal will regularly tend to some general tasks and obligations. In this article, we’ll go over these daily responsibilities and discuss the potential pros and cons of choosing to become a paralegal.

What Is a Paralegal?

Paralegals play an important part in any law office and the legal system as a whole. The American Bar Association (ABA) defines a paralegal as: “A person qualified by education, training, or work experience who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, governmental agency, or other entity and who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible.” In other words, a paralegal acts as a legal assistant to their attorney partners. Paralegals, unlike lawyers, do not practice law, meaning they cannot give legal advice or act as advocates for clients.

Daily Responsibilities of a Paralegal

Again, the daily responsibilities of paralegals can vary from firm to firm, depending on the types of cases they handle and the expectations of their firm. However, here are a few general responsibilities most paralegals will handle regularly:

  • Perform legal research
  • Fact-check
  • Manage cases
  • Ensure deadlines are met for client cases
  • Draft correspondence
  • Maintain communication with clients
  • Draft correspondence
  • Maintain communication with clients
  • Analyze and research data
  • File court documents

As we mentioned, a paralegal’s work is vital to the successful operation of a firm.

How to Become a Paralegal

Does a day in the life of a paralegal intrigue you? To become a paralegal, you’ll have to complete some education. Thankfully, law school, post-graduate degrees, and passing the bar are not on the list of qualifications firms check for. Instead, obtaining a four or two-year paralegal studies degree from a university or community college should suffice. If you already have a degree in another field of study, you can obtain a post-graduate certificate to avoid a second college degree.

Once you’ve reached your desired level of education, you can begin applying for paralegal positions at firms that interest you and feel like a good fit!

Should I Become a Paralegal?

To decide whether or not you’d like to be a paralegal, you’ll need to do some research (get used to this because you’ll be doing plenty if you decide to enter the paralegal world!). Look into programs at local universities or community colleges, make a point of talking to multiple people who work in the industry, and hear out a variety of perspectives before you make your decision.

You’ll need to be a detail-oriented person to be a good paralegal. If running over evidence with a fine-tooth comb and sifting through previous cases for relevant precedents doesn’t sound like your thing, then being a paralegal isn’t for you. You’ll also need to have excellent skills in reading and writing, and, of course, an interest in law. Though creativity and outside-the-box thinking are helpful as a paralegal, most of the work you’ll do is analytical and evidence-driven. You’ll need to give consistent effort to your projects, as well. Most firms are busy year-round, with equally important cases falling back to back or even simultaneously.

Although being a paralegal is hard work, the industry needs dedicated individuals driven by goals and ambition. Many paralegals love the work they do and the people they work with. At Esplin Weight, our staff of attorneys and paralegals make it a priority to provide the highest quality of counsel and expertise to our clients while maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Our skilled team of paralegals is an integral part of our firm, which is why we care how a day in the life of a paralegal goes. If you are interested in joining our team, contact us here.