Paralegals: What do they do in family law firms?

The legal profession is broad and deep.  Some lawyers are in court every day, and others have never set foot in a courtroom other than for jury duty or that occasional traffic infraction.  The same is true of those who work for lawyers, including paralegals.  The paralegal field offers great diversity.  In this series of posts, we will consider some of the tasks of the paralegal in different areas of the law.  If you have worked in any of these areas, please post a comment letting us know your impressions, likes, dislikes or other things you were asked to do on a regular basis.

Family Law Paralegals may do any, all or a combination of the following tasks under the direct supervision of the attorney:

  • attend and take notes during initial interview with attorney
  • collect background information on client, e.g. marriage certificates, sources of support, deeds for real property owned, statements for accounts, names and ages of children, etc.
  • draft Petition for Dissolution and related documents
  • meet with client to go over petition and obtain signature
  • arrange to have Summons and Petition filed with the court
  • arrange to have Summons and Petition served on the respondent
  • draft discovery (Form Interrogatories, Special Interrogatories, Demands for Production of documents, Subpoenas for Business Records, Notices of Depositions)
  • draft responses to discovery received and communicate with client to obtain necessary information to respond to discovery
  • maintain client contact and handle phone calls when legal advice is not required
  • draft proposed settlement agreements and stipulations
  • draft Preliminary Declarations of Disclosure (Income and Expense Declarations/Schedules of Assets and Debts)
  • draft discovery motions
  • draft trial brief
  • prepare client for deposition/trial testimony
  • prepare exhibits for trial
  • assist attorney at trial/manage file at trial
  • prepare judgment and related documents
  • prepare wage attachment and related documents
  • prepare Notice of Withdraw when work complete
  • close file

and the list goes on . . .


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