Paralegals: What do they do in litigation 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.

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

  • attend initial client meeting with attorney and take notes
  • draft Summons and Complaint
  • draft Answer or other responsive pleading
  • review client files and gather information about case, issues, client and opposing parties
  • prepare discovery (Form Interrogatories, Special Interrogatories, Demands for Production of Documents, Demands for Inspection of property, Request for Admissions, Subpoenas for Business Records, Notices of Deposition)
  • meet with client to go through discovery received
  • respond to discovery
  • draft discovery motions
  • draft Summary Judgment motions
  • draft response to Summary Judgment motions
  • interview witnesses and prepare witness statements
  • prepare client for deposition/trial testimony
  • prepare witness for depositions/trial
  • review and assemble documents to be used in deposition/trial
  • draft Case Management Statement
  • draft mediation brief
  • prepare trial subpoenas for witnesses and documents
  • prepare exhibits for trial
  • assist at trial

and the list goes on . . .


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