Paralegals investigate the facts of cases and ensure that all relevant information is considered. Through the use of software such as WestLaw and Lexis/Nexis, as well as researching in law libraries, they also identify appropriate laws, judicial decisions, legal articles, and other materials that are relevant to assigned cases.
Paralegals also organize and track files of all important case documents and make them available and easily accessible to attorneys, which can be accomplished through the use of calendars and reminders to the attorneys of upcoming milestones in cases.
In addition to this preparatory work, paralegals perform a number of other vital functions. For example, they help draft contracts, mortgages, separation agreements, wills and trust instruments. They also may assist in preparing tax returns during busy tax seasons or with large estates and planning estates. Some paralegals coordinate the activities of other law office employees and maintain financial office records. Various additional tasks may differ, depending on the employer.
Helping lawyers prepare for closings, from contract of sale to closing including:
During the busy tax season, I can assist with preparing individual and/or fiduciary federal and state tax returns, so time can be freed up for trials or other attorney obligations;
During the rest of the year, I can prepare federal and state estate tax returns as well as fiscal year fiduciary income tax returns;
For employment taxes, I can prepare employer’s quarterly federal income tax returns as well as the state employment tax returns
Please note: Paralegals are still explicitly prohibited from carrying out duties that are considered to be the practice of law, such as setting legal fees, giving legal advice, and presenting cases in court. Lawyers assume ultimate responsibility for legal work.