A paralegal is a legal professional who takes care of procedures semi-autonomously or autonomously in a consultative or judicial litigate environment in support of other legal professionals. The exact nature of limitations and work of a paralegal meaning what they do within the confines of a legal setting differs from place to place and region to region.
Depending on the jurisdiction, a paralegal might have different tasks such as analyzing and summarizing depositions, preparing interrogatories, performing legal research and analysis, drafting procedural motions and related routine briefs, performing projects, and the management and drafting of research memos. In general, their tasks revolve around the legal aspects of a court and its proceedings without actually taking part in it.
A paralegal is different from a legal secretary in that a secretary is one who has a basic understanding of judicial terminology and the specific formatting required by a particular government agency or court. A legal secretary is generally responsible for the organization of case files and their subsequent indexing. Hence it can be said that a legal secretary basically functions as a clerk in the legal realm.
To become a paralegal, most aspiring students have to complete a formal paralegal education program. You can also become a paralegal with on-the-job paralegal training. Formal education programs for paralegals may provide them with a certificate, diploma, advanced diploma, associate degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or simply a paralegal certificate.