Workplace Personnel

Professional Corporation Guide

Professional Corporation Guide

Professional corporations, or PCs, have historically played a significant part in the rise of the paralegal industry, and still provide employment to a significant number of paralegals.  
In the 1970s, the amount of large corporations began to increase as larger companies would regularly buy out smaller companies, increasing their relative size.The increased size of these corporations meant that they had relatively large amounts of standing capital (and barring that, relatively large quantities of insurance), combined with relatively lax amounts of oversight in their various functions, a costly (in many respects) side-effect of these companies’ growing pains.civil actions toward corporations began to rise considerably, and with those actions came a distinct rise in legal costs.  
One of the main means by which the legal profession accomplished this was with the emergence of the paralegal, an unlicensed practitioner who could take on some of the work load that would traditionally be assumed by the attorney at a far lower cost.
No longer interested in outsourcing their most basic legal document preparation needs, these new corporate legal departments were formed in order to take over the day to day legal needs of the PC.  In the case of larger corporations, legal departments even began to recruit and form the infrastructure of litigation departments whose sole purpose was to handle suits and legal actions taken against the PCs.
In corporate environments, paralegals often work on full time basis, with much of the work of a typical paralegal driven specifically to the drafting of legal documents, most often contracts.  In legal departments with their own litigation department, it is also common to have a large staff of paralegals on hand to perform copious amounts of research to prepare for any active or pending litigation.
With issues of corporate liability still prominent on the national scene, as well as the dramatic increase in the amount of global business done by these organizations, and the relative and consistent growth of PCs in size and scope, legal department are likely to only expand in the future. 

Areas of Specialization For Paralegals

Areas of Specialization For Paralegals

Just as attorneys differentiate themselves by area of specialization, paralegalsbankruptcycriminal lawimmigration law real estate. Bankruptcy paralegals are required to have a vast knowledge of the specific bankruptcy procedures for the area in which they are employed and are generally tasked with filling out specialized bankruptcy forms for clients. 

These paralegals will work with individuals who are claiming bankruptcy and creditors, as well ask banks and other lending institutions. For most debtors, bankruptcy is a stressful time, and these paralegals will work with them and answer any questions they may have about the process.

Corporate paralegals assist attorneys who handle legal business transactions for companies. These paralegals are responsible for composing employee contracts, preparing financial reports, and maintaining benefit plans for businesses. 

A criminal law paralegal may interview witnesses in a criminal case, prepare clients for trial, research legal precedents to help prepare an attorney for a case, and must be aware of a variety of criminal legal issues. Criminal law paralegals are responsible for drafting a number of documents, such as complaints, motions, and briefs.

Paralegals specializing in estate planning are required to draft various documents including last will and testaments, power of attorneys, living wills, trusts, etc. This type of paralegal is generally concerned communicating with a client to establish the client’s financial situation so they are able to generate wills and other documents. A client will contact his estate attorney when a family member has died to liquidate the individual’s assets and prepare any tax documents that must be in order. A paralegal will help with all of these responsibilities. 

Immigration paralegals typically work for government organizations, but may also be employed by an attorney who specializes in this area. It is often beneficial for these types of paralegals to be multilingual since they are often communicating with foreign clients. They are responsible for obtaining foreign documents, such as visas and passports, researching immigration case law, preparing paperwork for citizenship and deportation, and handling client concerns.  

The duties of an insurance paralegal include filing claims, reviewing medical records, and gathering facts in a personal injury, or other type of insurance case. They are usually employed by an insurance company or a law firm that represents insurance companies. 

Labor law paralegals often deal with reviewing and preparing contracts between companies and their employees. They may also handle litigation that arise from disputes in the workplace, such as harassment or discrimination. They may work with attorneys that are representing either businesses or workers. 

Real Estate paralegals have many responsibilities including preparing contracts and lease agreements, communicating between the buyer and seller’s attorneys, and negotiating contracts. The attorney they work for may represent either the buyer or seller of a private or commercial property.

These are only some of the specializations of paralegals. Although paralegals do not have a law degree and must always work under the supervision of an attorney, they are able to perform more and more of the work that was traditionally reserved for attorneys. This makes the legal process quicker and more efficient for the public.