Paralegal Profession

Definition of "Paralegal"

A paralegal (or legal assistant) 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. (American Bar Association and National Association of Legal Assistants)

Paralegal Tasks

Paralegal students learn to perform substantive legal work that requires extensive knowledge of legal concepts. A paralegal’s primary duties are document management, client relations, and legal research. Other tasks include:

  • Conducting legal investigations
  • Conducting legal research
  • Drafting legal documents
  • Summarizing depositions
  • Attending legal proceedings

While in the Program

One of the most interesting aspects of the paralegal profession is you will work for many different clients on a wide variety of projects. While attorneys assume the ultimate responsibility for legal work, they seek the assistance of paralegals in all phases of case management and trial preparation.
Paralegals pursue careers with:

  • Attorneys
  • Judges
  • Corporations
  • Government Agencies


Paralegals are prohibited from providing legal services to the public except as permitted by law.It is considered the “Unauthorized Practice of Law” for a paralegal to engage in any of the following activities:

  • Give legal advice
  • Represent clients in court
  • Negotiate settlements
  • Accept a case
  • Set legal fees