Traditional paralegals and legal assistants can be a very broad category, but they generally represent the most common classification of paralegals and legal assistants.
Versatility in a paralegal/legal assistant represents the ability to perform many specific tasks that represent the spectrum of duties Paralegals/legal assistants should be able to do a collective assortment of tasks at the behest of an attorney, association, or firm, short of the specified tasks that most bar associations establish can only be performed by a lawyer.
The paralegal/legal assistant’s main purpose is to work at the discretion of a lawyer at a number of tasks, including many that involve comprehensive research and analysis, especially in preparation for legal actions.
They can research evidence, as well as draft affidavits, arguments, and motions that the lawyer will then rewrite or revise before presenting to the courts. They can also work as fundamental “case managers” for particular aspects of a case, or for particular parties in a class action (though again, they are not allowed to provide legal advice), as well as be placed n charge of the clerical duties related to a particular case.
In addition to broad clerical work, paralegals/legal assistants can also draft a number of other documents, such as mortgage documents or property transfers, and they may also be in charge of keeping track of legal billing, and management of various documents and databases, especially for internal use.
It is important to note that while paralegals/legal assistants may play a significant role in drafting legal documents, the ultimate role of signing the documents is that of the lawyer.
The other key to defining the the role of the “traditional” paralegal/assistant is that they often boast a fairly stable affiliation with one attorney, company, firm, government agency or so on.
Traditional paralegals and legal assistants can work in a broad category of companies, from corporate offices to government agencies, and within each these organizations their tasks are ultimately specified to the needs of the organization.