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Continuing article series, K. Todd Wallace publishes review of Paralegal training

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Paralegals are a key component of an efficient law practice, and their role continues to expand. In fact, the job outlook is quite bright.

NEW ORLEANS - Dec. 6, 2018 - EntSun -- Louisiana-based attorney K. Todd Wallace has published the next article in his four-part series on the paralegal profession. The complete articles will be published on the blog of Mr. Wallace at https://ktoddwallaceblog.blogspot.com

Paralegal Training and Experience

Paralegals are a key component of an efficient law practice, and their role continues to expand. In fact, the job outlook (unlike for many other professions) is quite bright. Paralegals must undergo specific education, training and/or work experience and are utilized by many different employers, including individual practitioners, law firms, corporations and various government agencies. Different certifications and credentials are available to classify the Paralegal experience. In the traditional law firm setting, the Paralegal's time is primarily spent on substantive legal work which is billed to clients at market rates, similar to other professional staff, but at a significantly lower rate than would be charged had an Attorney been solely utilized to handle such work, as was standard in the past. This hourly billing option distinguishes Paralegals from other non-lawyer staff members. However, many legal or quasi-legal organizations do not specifically bill for Paralegal time, such as Real Estate Title Firms, Immigration Law Firms, or Bankruptcy practices. Thus, in many organizations, time spent on administrative or clerical functions is not billable to the client's case.

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Due to Ethical Rules, Paralegals will never completely replace Lawyers. Only licensed attorneys may give "legal advice" to clients, and ethical rules in all U.S. States are uniform in that Paralegals are strictly prohibited from doing so. Paralegals also are prohibited from directly accepting a client's case, setting any fees, or representing a client in court (unless specifically authorized by the court, see below). All U.S. States require attorneys to be licensed and most have regulations imposing strict penalties for anyone who engages in the unauthorized practice of law. In fact, there are rules requiring appropriate supervision of Paralegals.

The largest employers of Paralegals within the legal profession are, naturally, law firms. However, businesses, corporations and governmental entities are large Paralegal employers as well. Paralegals are found in every area work of legal practice, ranging from business litigation, bankruptcy law practice, estate planning, personal injury law, immigration, and corporate law. In fact, Paralegals are now common in virtually every legal practice area.

Strong Need for Paralegals Continues

Doomsday talk persisted in the recent past that technology was set to fully replace the Paralegal industry as a result of software upgrades and automated advances. At least one major law firm today uses highly sophisticated software for research previously conducted by Paralegals and even Attorneys. Many predicted the end of the Paralegal profession. The Associated Press issued a report in 2013 which claimed that an increasing number of Attorneys were using software and other technologies to do the work previously performed by Paralegal staff. It is certainly true that such software and technologies can enable solo practitioners to handle most or all of their workload without the need for any Paralegal. However, in 2014 the Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasted a continuing positive growth rate of 8 percent growth from 2014 to 2024, and then in 2016 readjusted that figure to a 15 percent growth from 2016 to 2026 – again documenting continued growth from its original projection.

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About K Todd Wallace

Kenneth Todd Wallace (https://ktoddwallaceblog.blogspot.com/) is an attorney and founding partner of the law firm Wallace Meyaski LLC. He has nearly 20 years of experience in the legal and business professions with established excellence in trial advocacy, negotiation, strategic and initiative planning, employment law compliance, government relations, mergers and acquisitions, and team building.

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Contact
Wallace Meyaski Law Firm
Kenneth Todd Wallace Esq.
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Source: Wallace Meyaski Law Firm
Filed Under: Business

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