Paralegal Duties and Responsibilities

Paralegal duties vary according to the type of organization and the area of law in which they work.

Paralegals often specialize in different areas including:

  • personal injury
  • corporate law
  • labor law
  • litigation
  • insurance law
  • criminal law
  • intellectual property
  • bankruptcy
  • immigration
  • family law
  • real estate

Select the area of specialization that applies to the paralegal job in question.

List of Paralegal Duties

Different areas of specialization entail specific paralegal duties and responsibilities.

Personal Injury Paralegal Job Description

Assist with all aspects of personal injury and wrongful death litigation.

  • interview and screen clients
  • request, organize and summarize medical records and bills
  • conduct legal research - medical, scientific, technical, product information
  • organize medical examinations
  • liaise with and interview experts, medical personnel, law enforcement officers
  • communicate with insurance carrier and opposing counsel
  • organize and summarize depositions
  • attend site, accident or vehicle inspection
  • prepare medical chronologies and medical expense itemizations
  • review damage information and calculate damages
  • create and maintain damage summaries
  • prepare and compile discovery responses
  • prepare motions and demand letters
  • prepare settlement proposals and statements
  • trial preparation including witness preparation and exhibit lists
  • assist in courtroom during trial

Corporate Paralegal

Provides support to attorneys in a corporation's legal department or in a law firm with the focus on business legal matters.

  • prepare and review legal documents including employee contracts, confidentiality agreements, stock certificates, shareholder agreements, financial reports, articles, lease agreements
  • monitor and ensure compliance with state, local and federal regulations
  • assist with employee benefit plans
  • prepare and file documentation including state tax registrations and IRS forms
  • prepare and maintain data for SEC filings
  • prepare UCC searches and filings
  • research and prepare documentation for the formation and maintenance of corporate, partnership and LLC entities
  • prepare and track paperwork for mergers, acquisitions, dissolutions, amendments and withdrawals
  • compile necessary data and prepare audit letters
  • draft shareholder consents and proxies
  • draft corporate resolutions and related documents
  • maintain and organize minute books
  • maintain and manage databases

Labor and Employment Paralegal

Paralegal duties focus on the legal regulation of labor relations.

  • monitor and help resolve informal employee disputes and claims
  • assist with grievance and disciplinary hearings
  • investigate, prepare and track responses to agency complaints
  • monitor state and federal employment regulations and statutes to ensure compliance
  • assist with employment litigation such as discrimination, unfair labor practice, wrongful discharge
  • review and summarize employee claim file
  • investigate employee claims
  • issue subpoenas
  • interview and prepare witnesses
  • schedule and prepare depositions
  • assist with settlement, mediation, arbitration and trial
  • prepare settlement agreements
  • respond to union demands and requests
  • review and prepare employment contracts
  • draft performance evaluation forms
  • draft employee policy and procedures manuals
  • prepare and monitor employee benefits documentation

Litigation Paralegal

Responsible for support and assistance to attorneys before, during and after the trial.

  • prepare legal documents including pleadings, motions, affidavits, complaints, legal memoranda
  • file all court documents
  • conduct legal research and factual investigation
  • prepare discovery documents, interrogatories and responses
  • create, maintain and monitor discovery indexes
  • draft and serve summons
  • locate, interview, prepare and schedule witnesses
  • coordinate and summarize depositions
  • prepare and organize trial exhibits
  • prepare trial binders
  • support attorney in courtroom
  • assist with settlement negotiations and draft settlement agreements
  • co-ordinate appeals

Insurance Paralegal

Commonly known as an Insurance Defense Paralegal, these paralegals are employed within the legal department of an insurance company or for a law firm that represents an insurance company. Insurance paralegal duties generally focus on representing the insureds in a claim.

  • interview clients
  • file insurance claims

  • obtain, review and summarize medical records
  • review company's insurance policies
  • obtain, monitor and manage discovery
  • analyze and summarize discovery
  • gather data, documents and exhibits in response to subpoenas, discovery requests, interrogatories
  • prepare records for review by experts
  • prepare legal documents including motions, pleadings, deposition summaries, abstracts, correspondence, responses, legal memoranda
  • locate and interview witnesses
  • prepare witnesses, demonstrative evidence and trial notebooks

Go to Part 2 - What does a Paralegal Do?

For detailed descriptions of paralegal duties in the following areas of law

  • criminal law
  • intellectual property and patents
  • bankruptcy
  • immigration
  • family law
  • real estate

go to Paralegal Job Duties

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