A Paralegal’s Job: Contact with Clients

A Paralegal’s Job: Contact with Clients

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A Paralegal's Job: Contact with Clients

Depending on the organization and the scenario, paralegals may be required to interact often with clients or be restricted in their interaction with clients.  

However, it is otherwise fairly common for paralegals to interact with clients on a fairly administrative basis, provided they do not assume to take on the role of lawyer, and maintain in their relationship with a client the understanding that they are paralegals only, which means that they are required to make full disclosure of their role, as necessary.

Paralegals whose roles do involve client contact  is unavailable, however, they must always remain under the supervision of the lawyer.  It it is this is where the disclosure of paralegal status becomes vital in maintaining the sanctity of the client relationship, as a client is required to understand that what they say in front of a paralegal is not protected by the same confidence that is protected by a lawyer.

In some instances, a paralegal can act as a case manager for for an existing case and or ongoing action, and can thus play the part of conduit of information between client and attorney, again provided that they never act in the capacity of attorney.

While paralegals are forbidden from setting and collecting legal fees per se, they can play a significant role in the actual billing process, and can draft and deliver contracts on behalf of a lawyer or client, provided they are not a signatory on the documents in question. 

Paralegals are also required to reveal conflicts of interest in a given situation, and excuse themselves from a situation as necessary.

In corporate situations, paralegals often do much of the bulk or contract drafting and processing for their clients, with lawyers and legal representatives often giving the final signature to the documentation to complete the processing.

There are particular categories of paralegal where client contact is a necessity of the position, usually when a client is working with an some form of specialized independent paralegal who works outside the supervision of an attorney.

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