As the legal system began to be based on lawyers being able to divest themselves of some of their day to day to work and give those tasks over to paralegals, there has also been a natural divestment of some supervisory duties to paralegals as well.
Therefore, it has become common that attorneys have delegated a certain degree of case management services to their paralegals.
What a paralegal performing case management services will generally do is take charge of the overall procession of a case, especially in a litigious situation, and make sure that all elements of the case are being collected and maintained and organized.
It is their job to make sure all paperwork that pertains to an active case is organized and at relatively access.research or drafting assignments, and will then examine the work and determine if they are to be passed on the attorney or approval.
Paralegals performing case management duties may also interact with clients during their work on a case, however their purpose is only to act as a representative for their attorney or firm, and not to offer legal advice.
With the increasing amount of importance on computers and the Internet in a paralegal’s duties and case management in particular, emphasis on the discipline of Computerized Information Systems (CIS) has become more prominent in programs that train paralegals.
Since most interoffice organization is done through computers nowadays, the importance of strong knowledge of CIS in case management cannot be understated.
A criticism of the legal system, and its over reliance on paralegals in general, has been centered on the proliferation of paralegals performing case management services.
In some cases, it has been cited as potential basis of consumer fraud, as many clients have complained that they have hired an attorney or firm on the understanding that their case will be prepared by an attorney, only to find that much of the work has been delegated to a paralegal.