Paralegal Job Description (2021)

a picture of a Paralegal and business professional ready for an interview

Free paralegal job description. A paralegal is a legal professional employed by an attorney's office. Employed to perform delegated duties and substantive legal work on behalf of a lawyer or attorney. A paralegal can be found in a law office, corporation, government agency, or other legal entity.

A paralegal is sometimes referred to as legal assistant, litigation paralegal, corporate paralegal, criminal law paralegal, real estate paralegal, and immigration paralegal. As well as bankruptcy paralegal, family law paralegal, probate paralegal, and more. Paralegals are most frequently found working in law firms.

paralegal job description

Paralegal Job Description Sample

Our law office and the law firm is seeking a legal secretary and experienced paralegal or entry-level paralegal. A professional who can assist our legal team with estate planning, family law, corporate law, and more. The paralegal will assist with researching legal articles, preparing legal documents, and assisting with general administrative needs.

Paralegal Duties and Responsibilities

Paralegal responsibilities and job duties include:

  • Prepare and provide legal advice to our clients.
  • Assist the legal department with document preparation and organization.
  • Assist the corporate legal department with administrative tasks.
  • Perform legal research and prepare litigation documents.
  • Submit findings and complaints to the state and county.
  • Be proactive with our legal department and assist where necessary.
  • Be an aspiring paralegal and strive to advance your legal studies.
  • Work closely with the senior paralegal and supervising attorney. And legal assistants.
  • Strive to become a great paralegal through your work.
  • Must have completed a program by the American Bar Association.
  • Summarizing depositions, testimony, and interrogatories when dealing with litigation.
  • Conducting investigations and documentary research for litigation and court proceedings.
  • Attending executions of wills, court/administrative hearings, real estate closings, or other court-ordered hearings.
  • Creating and maintaining a case management database from clients and cases.
  • Organizing and tracking files related to court case documents and important transactions that relate to court proceedings.
  • Drafting legal court documents including motions, affidavits, subpoenas, and transactional documents, like legal contracts, partnership contracts, real estate leases, and trust agreements.

Paralegal Requirements

Qualified candidates should have the following:

  • High school diploma or equivalent preferred.
  • Associate's degree in Paralegal Studies.
  • Must be a state certified paralegal (a state issued paralegal certificate).
  • Must be part of the state paralegal association.
  • Previous paralegal experience preferred.
  • Previous experience similar to a paralegal position preferred.

Paralegal Salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a paralegal earns $24.87 per hour, on average. Equalling $51,700 in median annual wages.

Related: Paralegal Resume

Paralegal Skills

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, top candidates in the paralegal field have the following skills, characteristics, traits, and core competencies:

  • Communication skills. Paralegals must be able to document and present their research and related information to their supervising attorney.
  • Computer skills. Paralegals need to be familiar with using computers for legal research and litigation support. They also use computer programs for organizing and maintaining important documents.
  • Interpersonal skills. Paralegals spend most of their time working with clients and other professionals and must be able to develop good relationships. They must make clients feel comfortable sharing personal information related to their cases.
  • Organizational skills. Paralegals may be responsible for many cases at one time. They must adapt quickly to changing deadlines.
  • Research skills. Paralegals gather facts of the case and research information on relevant laws and regulations. All to prepare drafts of legal documents for attorneys and help them prepare for a case.

In addition, Gail Armatys of Paralegal.edu describes what makes a great paralegal. Saying, "if the most important quality of a paralegal could be summed up in one word, it would be “efficiency”. Serving clients by giving attorneys more time to do their jobs is the main goal of a great paralegal."

Paralegal Job Boards

Employers seeking a paralegal should consider a "niche" job board for their job advertisement and job description. These job boards have a caliber of job seeker and candidate that can be more passionate about advancing their paralegal career. Resulting in an ideal exchange of value between the employer and employee.

Top paralegal job boards

Paralegal Focus Areas

Depending on the sector, paralegal duties and responsibilities may vary. It's important to review the sector and determine the appropriate duties before posting a job description. Below are examples of the varying types of duties based on the industry focus or sector.

Banking and Finance

  • Draft lease documents, deeds, resolutions, agreements, and other legal documents.
  • Participate and assist with due diligence reviews.
  • Assist attorneys with research, drafting, and revision of bond issue documents.

Bankruptcy Law

  • Participating in client reviews and research with the head attorneys.
  • Gathering petition facts, schedules, and statements.
  • Drafting motions, proposed orders, and notices regarding time extensions.

Corporate Law

  • Performing UCC searches, and good standing certifications.
  • Monitoring and reporting changes in filing and franchise tax laws reporting.
  • Prepare and draft annual reports.
  • Drafting special minutes and other corporate activities.

Criminal Defense Law

  • Assist with locating and interviewing witnesses.
  • Verifying personal information.
  • Reviewing evidence with the head attorney.

Environmental Law

  • Prepare civil and criminal enrollment referral packages.
  • Drafting petitions for formal administrative hearings.
  • Analyzing information received from factual investigations.

Estate Planning

  • Preparing drafts, wills, and other trust agreements.
  • Recording general deeds and trade name affidavits.
  • Supervising the execution of wills and other trusts.

Family Law

  • Conducting initial family interviews.
  • Preparing documents for transfers of family assets.
  • Working alongside accountants, financial advisors, brokers, and other financial experts.

General Litigation

  • Review fact investigation reports and overall case analysis.
  • Participating in client interviews and case interviews.
  • Analyzing documentary evidence and other proceeding details.
  • Drafting and providing settlement agreements.
  • Drafting motions, dismissals, and complaint documents.
  • Submitting documents and complaints to county boards and legal offices.
  • Preparing demonstrations exhibits and other pretrial documents.
  • Drafting stipulations for dismissal on cases and investigations.
  • Preparing witness files before court proceedings.
  • Taking notes during cases and during meetings with judges.
  • Participating in a discovery plan and discovery phase. Including the drafting of discovery requests for cases and investigations.

Paralegal Certifications

According to LaywerEdu.org, there are complications with understanding what constitutes a certified paralegal. They describe, "it is important to understand the difference between becoming a certified paralegal and receiving a paralegal certification. First and foremost, according to the American Bar Association (ABA), the ABA does not certify Paralegals. Paralegals are not allowed to call themselves "ABA-certified paralegals." The ABA only approves certain educational programs that offer paralegal degrees or certificates. A student who completes an ABA-approved education is a certificated paralegal."

The varying types of certifications include:

  • Accredited Legal Professional (ALP)
  • Professional Legal Secetray (PLS)
  • Professional Paralegal (PP)

Related job descriptions

Download the free paralegal job description PDF template. And use the sample paralegal job description provided to make an efficient job posting for your company. For more information please visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


paralegal job decription free template and download

Paralegal Job Description Template

Get our job description template in Word or PDF format. Instantly free. No email required.

Get Template

All job descriptions

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), NCDA Certified Career Counselor (CCC), and general career expert. Patrick has completed the NACE Coaching Certification Program (CCP). And has been published as a career expert on Forbes, Glassdoor, Dice.com, WorkWise, American Express, Reader's Digest, LiveCareer, Zety, Yahoo, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, SHRM.org, Process.st, FairyGodBoss, HRCI.org, St. Edwards University, NC State University, IBTimes.com, Thrive Global, TMCnet.com, Work It Daily, Workology, Career Guide, MyPerfectResume, College Career Life, The HR Digest, WorkWise, Career Cast, Elite Staffing, Women in HR, All About Careers, Upstart HR, The Street, Monster, The Ladders, Introvert Whisperer, and many more. Find him on LinkedIn.

Share

Help us by spreading the word