The Paralegal Professional Essay

881 words - 4 pages

Paralegals are typically well prepared to enter the real-world practice of law; they emphasize in legal research methods and procedures and are something like the right hand of an Attorney. Even though paralegals are able to do a lot of things lawyers do they must always pay close attention to the things that they say or do; Many are not aware of the fact that answering a simple question as “How should I sign?” might be giving legal advice. It is important for a paralegal to be aware of the guidelines to be followed regarding the extent of their capacity as legal assistants/paralegals. It is the job of the supervising attorney to make the paralegal aware of the fact that “whatever the ...view middle of the document...

As long as the appropriate supervision is given, tasks usually performed by lawyers can be assigned to paralegals.
The ABA Model Guidelines for the Utilization of Paralegal Services are the rules to be followed by supervising attorneys. Such guidelines give specifications to what a lawyer is able to delegate to a paralegal without committing an Unauthorized Practice of Law. The supervising attorney is responsible to instruct a paralegal on many things, especially on the fact that he/she is not allowed to form an attorney-client relationship, establish a legal service fee or give a legal opinion to a client or customer at any time. To be able to avoid UPL a paralegal must always have in mind that if the answer to a question affects the legal rights of the person then it probably is rendering a legal advice, therefore, committing UPL. A paralegal may think that a question such as “Do I have a case?” can be easy to answer but the best way to stay away from UPL is by holding yourself out as nothing else than a paralegal, answering politely “I am not an attorney, I cannot advice you about the law or your legal rights, you will be able to ask such questions to the attorney when you meet with him/her”.
Supervising attorneys must properly train and closely supervise paralegals to be sure they fully understand and maintain client confidentialities. If not trained well, a paralegal who discloses confidential information will not be subject to punishment for it is the lawyer’s obligation to properly train the paralegal and ensure the preservation of the...

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