How Your Attorney’s Paralegal Can Help You

Your attorney’s paralegal can help you in a variety of ways.  Learning how to effectively work with the law firm’s paralegal can help your case.    The paralegal is not there to be a barrier between you and your attorney, s/he is there as an important part of a professional team to help get the job done right!

What a paralegal can do to help you:
  1. Explain the day-to-day workings of the legal process to you;
  2. Help  you understand and organize the information that you are giving to your attorney;
  3. Help you understand and answer discovery in your case;
  4. Help you understand what types of issues are true emergencies – if and when your attorney should be immediately paged, the police should be notified, for instance;
  5. Tell you when you should come in for a face-to-face meeting with your attorney;
  6. Type and prepare documents and pleadings under the direction of your attorney;
  7. Help manage the scheduling and day-to-day aspects of the case under the direction of your attorney;
  8. Save you “attorney time” and therefore save you money (the hourly rate charged by law firms for the work that a paralegal or other staff member does on your file is generally less that the attorney’s hourly rate).
Appropriate questions to ask a paralegal:
  1. How long do cases like mine usually take?
  2. What is the next step in my case?
  3. I have information for the attorney to see. Should I email him/her directly, give it to you, or make an appointment to come in?
  4. I don’t understand some information that I received from your office.
  5. Can you tell me more about what to expect at mediation?
  6. Has the court scheduled a hearing yet?
Some things that a paralegal cannot do:
  1. Give legal advice;
  2. “Run” the case instead of the lawyer;
  3. Go to court for you;
  4. Represent himself/herself to be a lawyer;
  5. Reveal client’s confidential information.
A paralegal can help you. It is a good idea to get to know the paralegal working on your case as doing so can save you time and money.

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