LEGL 115 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Time Management, Communication, Body Language
Course CodeLEGL 115
ProfessorGeno S Gani
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Paralegal Today Ch 1 - Today’s Professional Paralegal
Paralegals/Legal assistants are qualified through education, training, or work experience to
provide substantive legal work that would customarily be performed by a lawyer. They
adhere to recognized ethical standards.
●Conduct legal research, client and witness interviews, or legal investigations of
reports and records
●Organize and maintain files
●Draft legal documents
●Coordinate litigation proceedings and track deadlines
●Attend legal proceedings
●Perform secretarial work such as answering phones or accounting
Paralegal education program types:
●2-year Community College
●4-year Bachelor’s degree
●Certificate programs (typically 3-18 months long)
●Post-grad certificate program (3-12 months) - require a bachelor’s degree
Paralegals may not give legal advice. If passing advice from the attorney to the client it must
reflect exactly what the attorney said with no modification.
Substantive Law: laws that define, describe, regulate, and create legal rights + obligations
Procedural Law: establishes the methods of enforcing the rights laid out by substantive law
Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Programs are seminars or workshops focusing on specific
topics or areas of law. A certain number of CLE hours may be required by an association or
state (CA) to maintain membership or to work as a paralegal.
Paralegals must complete the NALA, NFPA, NALS, AAPI, or state certification process to be
considered certified. Certificates of completion from a program are not enough but are
sufficient for most employers and certification is voluntary in all states.
Levels of certification include:
●Certified Legal Assistant (CLA) or Certified Paralegal (CP)
●Advanced Paralegal Certification (APC)
●Registered Paralegal (RP)
SKILLS AND ABILITIES
●The ability to collect, study, and interpret data
●The ability to break down theories and fact patterns into easily understandable
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