Duties of a Paralegal
A paralegal in a litigation law practice must have good organizational skills. She must be able to perform
legal research and know the rules of civil procedure as well as local court rules. She must be able to write
clearly and concisely and know how to interview clients to get pertinent information.
When a case begins, the paralegal must sit in on meetings with the client and take notes regarding the
facts of the case. It is important to know the correct way to prepare pleadings, which are the documents
that allow a lawuit to be filed. This usually consists of what is known as a summons and complaint, where
the plaintiff lets the defendant know what he is being sued for. If the client is the defendant, the paralegal
will need to assist in preparing an answer to the complaint and possibly a counterclaim or other document.
Before the trial commences, the paralegal will read and organize documents, prepare demands for
information to be served upon the adversary and arrange for examinations before trial or depositions.
She will often help prepare witnesses to testify and read and summarize pretrial testimony of fact and
The paralegal will spend much time doing legal research via computer and in law libraries, and present
the lawyers with case citations. She will arrange exhibits to be used at trial and make sure that all
information is available in an organized fashion.