East Central High School, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Oklahoma Jr. College, Associate Decree in Business
Tulsa Community College, Paralegal Studies
How I can help you as a Paralegal
According to the National Association of Legal Assistants, Legal Assistants, also known as paralegals, are a distinguishable group of persons who assist attorneys in the delivery of legal services. Through formal education, training and experience, Legal Assistants have knowledge and expertise regarding the legal system and substantive and procedural law which qualifies them to do work of a legal nature under the supervision of an attorney.
The ABA definition reads as follows: A legal assistant or paralegal is 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 who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible. (Adopted by the ABA in 1997).
What do Paralegals do?
The terms legal assistant and paralegal are used interchangeably, much like the terms attorney and lawyer. The practice of law is regulated by each of the 50 states. A legal assistant may perform any function delegated by an attorney, including but not limited to the following:
– Conduct client interviews and maintain general contact with the client, so long as the client is aware of the status and function of the legal assistant, and the legal assistant works under the supervision of the attorney.
– Locate and interview witnesses. – Conduct investigations and statistical and documentary research.
– Conduct legal research.
– Draft legal documents, correspondence and pleadings.
– Summarize depositions, interrogatories and testimony.
– Attend executions of wills, real estate closings, depositions, court or administrative hearings and trials with the attorney.
– Author and sign correspondence provided the legal assistant status is clearly indicated and the correspondence does not contain independent legal opinions or legal advice.
– Professionally, a paralegal’s time for substantive legal work (as opposed to clerical or administrative work) is billed to clients much the same way as an attorney’s time.