Inside The Industry: Corporate Vs Litigation Paralegals
August 29, 2013
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When you explore law, you explore a diverse industry.
In law, there are many possibilities for specialization. Choosing a specialty allows you to focus on specific work – such as research or communications. If you decide on a specialty now, you have the opportunity to tailor your education towards that specialty – you can talk to an advisor on how to do that and choose courses that can help you learn the right skills for the type of work you are most interested in.
There are many specialty options to choose from. Learn more about the skillsets and responsibilities of corporate paralegals and litigation paralegals.
What do Paralegals Do?
There are a common set of responsibilities shared by paralegals.
They are responsible for conducting research, organization and maintaining files and drafting documents. They must help lawyers prepare for hearings, trials and corporate meetings. Depending on the size of the firm or corporation they work for, paralegals might have more or less responsibility. For example, at larger firms paralegals work on a specific phase of a case – rather than handling a case from beginning to end as they would at a smaller firm.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, paralegals are often asked to:
- Investigate cases
- Log information related to cases or transactions into databases
- Prepare reports for lawyers
- Assist lawyers during trials
- Draft correspondences and other documents
- Get affidavits and other formal statements from witnesses for court
Corporate paralegals and litigation paralegals have all of these duties in common. Yet, there are a few things that make their positions unique. Below is a list of responsibilities that differ between the specialties to see how they compare:
- Draft stock-option plans
- Prepare employee contracts
- Monitor and review government regulations
- Write shareholder agreements
- Prepare company annual financial reports
- Prepare company for any new or changing legal requirements
- Maintain files pertaining to specific cases
- Collect evidence
- Organize documents received from clients
- Conduct research
- Present findings to lawyers
- Catalog evidence for use at depositions and trails
There are other areas for Paralegal students to specialize: personal injury, corporate law, criminal law, employee benefits, intellectual property, bankruptcy, immigration, family law or real estate. The BLS notes that paralegals who gain experience can also be promoted to supervisory positions.
Want to learn more about becoming a paralegal? Contact us at Briarcliffe today.