A demand for paralegals has increased today; in accordance with those demands, so has the need for ethical guidelines for those who sit on the fine line of assisting attorneys in the practice of law. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the employment of paralegals was projected to grow seventeen percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. (Bureau of Labor Statistics) Along with many other important topics, two of the most common topics surrounding ethics for a paralegal are confidentiality and the unauthorized practice of law. The role and presence of a paralegal in a legal setting can have its advantages. There are many duties that can be delegated to a paralegal. The American Bar Association has designed and implemented guidelines that can be both useful to an attorney and a paralegal. As quoted, "The ABA Model Guidelines are designed for use by lawyers in utilizing paralegals; the ABA Model Guidelines are also equally useful for paralegals when attempting to understand what is to be expected of and from them. In a world where the delivery of legal services has become more complicated, expensive, and frequently, more difficult, the proper utilization of paralegals can provide for more efficient and more effective legal services". Since the establishment of potential ethical complications in the paralegal profession, it is easier to explore and identify the legalities and limits in the duties they are assigned, too. Confidentiality is the most important aspect in the legal field. This is so for an attorney and extends to the paralegals working underneath the attorney; violated client- attorney confidentiality can lead to disbarment and malpractice actions. Breaking the client attorney confidentiality agreement can entail releasing privileged information to opposing counsel, family, friends or the media. This can be done intentionally or unintentionally, therefore, a paralegal should take precaution and avoid situations or circumstances that can lead to breaking
The Role of Paralegals in the Legal System Essay
1744 Words7 Pages
Justice. It is something that everyone wants, something that we strive for, even something that sparks. However, when we think of lawyers, we think of superheroes with an expensive education, walking into the courtroom and serving up justice. What no one thinks of is the person that helped the lawyer get there, the paralegal that prepares the necessary documents, the paralegal that makes sure his or her attorney is at the right place at the right time. A paralegal is crucial and in some cases vital to our justice system yet they are so often over looked.
To understand what a paralegal does we must first understand what the job of a lawyer entails. Black’s Law Dictionary defines a lawyer as “a person learned in the law; as an attorney,…show more content…
The next couple of hours were a whirlwind of this attorney going over the countless motions and discoveries that were in this relatively thick file.
With such short notice there was something that was vital to him “winning” this hearing, it was the criminal paralegal a couple of offices over. If it were not for her meticulousness then the hearing would have been a disaster. I interviewed a couple of the paralegals at the Summit Law Firm and one of them was Ana Lopez, the Criminal Case Manager, during the interview she emphasized the attention to detail that is needed to be a great paralegal. Depending on where and in what field of the law one works in the number of cases that one handles can vary drastically. At the Summit Law Firm the number of caseload is growing and with that comes the chance that something falls in between the cracks.
When a doctor performs surgery and leaves a scalpel or a sponge inside the patient chances are there is going to be a medical malpractice lawsuit, although uncommon legal malpractice suits do exist. Sally Greer the Civil Case Manager for the Firm told me about the deadlines that cannot be missed in civil cases like Personal Injury, Medical Malpractice, and Social Security. In a legal malpractice suit the client has to show that the attorney was negligent and the lack of strategy on the attorney’s part caused the harm to the client.
All of this boils down to a couple of vital attributes to a great