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The Truth About the Workplace for Paralegals

The Truth About the Workplace for Paralegals

Describing the workplace of a hypothetical paralegal will involve a great deal of generalization due to the heterogeneous nature of the paralegal profession.  Therefore, a paralegal who works in a corporate legal department may have duties that are entirely different from a paralegal that works a district attorney.

Often, the job description of one paralegal can vary so intrinsically from the job description of another paralegal that it would not be hard to believe that the two paralegals came from  That’s how varied the paralegal profession really is.

Nevertheless, there are constants to the workplace of nearly every paralegal that some broad generalizations can be formed.  the scope of an office, depending on the organization.

In nearly every jurisdiction, paralegals are required to be supervised by an attorney.  First, it prevents  As a deregulated profession, paralegals are generally given a great deal of latitude in the tasks they are allowed to perform, but a key is that they are not allowed to sign legal documents or dispense legal advice, leaving a key elements of oversight in the hands of their supervising attorneys. 

Usually, levels of urgency in a particular workplace can vary depending on the organization, but legal work as a rule tends to rely heavily on dates and deadlines, so the more precise a paralegal’s duties may be, the more likely there will be a sense of urgency and stress in an office and a tendency for paralegals to work long hours.  Most organizations that do require long hours generally pay overtime, which could be as high as time-and-a-half, and thus can give the paralegal ample opportunity to pad their paycheck with extra income, provided they are willing to put in the extra hours.

In general, the workplace for a paralegal can very dramatically, but it will nearly always be a demanding environment that places a great deal of responsibility on the paralegal in question.