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What is a Litigation Paralegal?
What’s important to know about this role?
In this article, I will break down the meaning of Litigation Paralegal so you know all there is to know about it!
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What Is A Litigation Paralegal
A litigation paralegal is a person who works under the supervision of a litigation attorney and supports the same with the various tasks required to be handled in a matter.
In essence, a litigation paralegal is a person who helps a litigation attorney draft pleadings, prepare for discovery, prepare depositions, assist the attorney in trial, and handle other tasks as required.
We can broadly classify a litigation paralegal’s role into four categories: drafting pleadings, preparation for depositions and discovery, management of documents and evidence, and support to prepare hearings and go to trial.
Drafting pleadings can consist of preparing motions, drafting answers to pleadings, and gathering documents in support of such pleadings.
Preparation for deposition and discovery can consist of preparing witnesses for a deposition, digesting a deposition, gathering evidence, and so on.
Document and evidence management ensures that the documents are properly filed, gathered, and classified.
Assistance for hearings and trials relates to the support needed by a litigation attorney to prepare for an oral hearing or trial.
Keep reading as I will further break down the meaning of a litigation paralegal and tell you what they do.
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Litigation Paralegal Duties
A litigation paralegal can provide a wide variety of support to litigation lawyers in the context of civil litigation or criminal cases.
Here are some of the duties handled by litigation paralegals:
- The interview of clients
- The interview of witnesses
- Correspondence with the client, court, or opposing counsel
- Communication with external vendors
- Legal research
- Gathering of evidence
- Tracking of case deadlines
- Managing electronically stored information
- Evidence organization
- Preparation of deposition summaries
- Drafting of pleading documents
- Preparation of trial exhibits
- Preparation of trial notebooks
As you can see, a litigation paralegal is deeply involved in handling a litigation matter.
Most law firms will hire litigation paralegals to help manage various litigation matters so the lawyers can better prepare themselves for trial.
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Litigation Paralegal Skills
If you are considering becoming a litigation paralegal, you should first assess whether or not you have the skills that are essential for the job.
The first essential skill for a litigation paralegal is to be an excellent communicator both orally and in writing.
Paralegals will work with lawyers, outside vendors, clients, witnesses, court officials, opposing counsel, and many other stakeholders and they must express themselves clearly and strategically.
The second important skill for a paralegal in law is to be able to work under pressure.
The parties must perform specific tasks and accomplish certain things before certain deadlines, so paralegals are constantly faced with the pressure of delivering on time.
A paralegal may work on several cases at the same time and it’s important to be able to ensure that everything gets done at the right time.
Today, law firms and companies use various technological systems and applications to manage their case, so paralegals need to be comfortable with technology.
There are systems to manage deadlines, handle billing, manage e-discovery, edit documents, and so on.
A paralegal should also be an excellent problem solver, highly organized, resourceful, and attentive to details.
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Litigation Paralegal FAQ
What does a litigation paralegal do?
A litigation paralegal helps attorneys successfully manage a litigation matter from start to finish.
A paralegal can help the attorney gather evidence, review documents, summarize reports, prepare pleadings, communicate with other parties, perform legal research, or handle any other tasks required in dealing with a legal matter.
What skills do litigation paralegals need to have?
Litigation paralegals should have great problem-solving skills, be excellent communicators, have great writing skills, have great interpersonal skills, be able to work under pressure, handle stress, and pay attention to details.
What is the role of a litigation paralegal?
The role of a litigation paralegal is to essentially support a litigation attorney in any aspect of a legal matter, such as:
- Helping in the investigation of a case
- Drafting legal pleadings
- Supporting the discovery process
- Helping with the pre-trial process
- Helping prepare for and handle trial
- Support the attorney in settlement discussions
- Help execute judgments
- Help with an appeal process
What are the requirements to be a good litigation paralegal?
To be a litigation paralegal, you must first obtain a formally recognized paralegal qualification or degree.
In some cases, litigation paralegals may even have a bachelor’s degree in law but have chosen to act as paralegals instead of becoming an attorney.
You must also have a good understanding of the law, and civil or criminal rules of procedure, be able to perform research on various legal topics, and have great computer literacy.
Once you have obtained your paralegal degree, in some jurisdictions, paralegals will be required to perform an internship before being formally recognized as such.
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So there you have it folks!
What does a litigation paralegal mean?
In a nutshell, a litigation paralegal is a professional that works under the supervision of a litigation attorney when preparing or handling a legal matter.
A litigation paralegal can be involved at any stage of a legal case, from the commencement of the litigation to trial and appeal.
The paralegals will work closely with the litigation attorneys, clients, internal stakeholders, external vendors, the court, opposing counsel, and other stakeholders involved in a case.
They are also responsible for drafting various legal pleadings, researching, organizing documents, and managing case evidence.
There is no doubt that a litigation paralegal provides crucial support and assistance to lawyers and law firms handling litigation matters.
The role is challenging but also highly stimulating.
Now that you know what a litigation paralegal is and what they do, good luck with your research!
I hope you enjoyed this article on Litigation Paralegal! Be sure to check out more articles on my blog. Enjoy!
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