Writingchronicles Archive

Working with Lawyers: How to Be a Paralegal

Paralegal At Work The paralegal career is not new. It began in the 60s, as a solution to the problem of individual legal practitioners and law firms concerning efficiency and cost-effectiveness in offering and delivering legal services.

Not only can a paralegal free up the attorney’s time for more important matters, but they can also help reduce the fees clients usually had to pay if they employed only a team of lawyers to do all the work.

How to be a paralegal

It is actually easy to become a paralegal; you can become one by getting the right education and training, or even by taking paralegal school online courses. If you have limited time due to your current employment or studies, you can study online

How paralegals earn at a law firm

When you work as a paralegal for a law firm, the time you spend doing clerical and administrative work is not billable to any client. Your firm pays you a regular salary. When you spend time on legal work, however, such as when a lawyer assigns you to interview witnesses and write some legal documents for a case, they bill the client for your work.

The difference between lawyer and paralegal

As a paralegal, you cannot give legal advice to clients or anyone in need of legal services. Only a licensed lawyer can do that. In like manner, only a lawyer may accept or reject a case, set a fee for legal services, and represent the interests of a client in court.

Other fields that require paralegals

Although most paralegals work in private law firms, there are also paralegals working in businesses and corporations, as well as the U.S. government. You may work under a lawyer or law firm’s legal practice, with an accountancy or tax firm, a real estate agency, or in estate planning.

There are plenty of careers for those who are ready to work as paralegals. Get your education and training now and enjoy a lucrative job as a paralegal in the near future.

Paralegal Writing: The Importance of Good Structure and Grammar

Paralegal Revisiting A Draft

“The minute you read something you can’t understand, you can almost be sure that it was drawn up by a lawyer.”

Humorist Will Rogers may have said it as a joke, but bad legal writing is a serious matter. Judges lose patience with attorneys and their bad writing. They issue public reprimands, requiring attorneys to take legal writing courses – or worse, dismiss complaints due to bad grammar and excessive spelling errors.

Now, the pressure lies on paralegals, as supervising attorneys are passing the job onto them.

Changing Role of Paralegals

Yes, what used to be a job exclusive to attorneys has been passed on to paralegals. Litigation paralegals, for instance, draft pleadings, correspondence, motions, discovery, briefs, memorandums, and other legal documents. Transactional paralegals, on the other hand, draft contracts, agreements, resolutions, and related documents.

And not only will you help make the judges’ and attorneys’ jobs easier; training in paralegal writing and mastering the art will also set you apart from peers and co-workers, therefore advancing your career.

The question is, how can both litigation and transactional paralegals master the art of paralegal writing?

Improving Paralegal Writing Skills

To improve your paralegal writing skills, first, learn – and re-learn – the basics. Take a class that teaches grammar, structure, punctuation, and spelling, for instance, as this will strengthen the foundation of your writing skills.

Also, make sure your legal writing is organized and readable, and follow a clear logic to your conclusion. Keep in mind that legal writing is not all about complex words and fancy phrases, but about simplifying the already complex ideas into simple, understandable sentences.

The written word is one of the most important tools in the legal profession. And the better your writing skills are, the further and more successful you will be in this line of work.

That Side of the Law: When You Want to Be a Criminal Paralegal

Lawyer and Paralegal

So, you want to be a criminal law paralegal.

Out of all the branches of the field, you choose to dabble in the area that deals with criminal defense and prosecutors’ offices. No doubt that criminal law can be intriguing, but there’s more to being a paralegal in this field than just filing papers or brewing coffee for the attorney. Also, it’s different from the jobs you see on television (you won’t be chasing criminals down the street).

After pursuing paralegal studies online, you want to make the most of your next career path, but what does it entail?

Job Description and Tasks

Criminal law paralegals have the same set of tasks as other kinds of paralegals: drafting paperwork, interviewing witnesses, communicating with clients, and building cases against possible suspects. Criminal law paralegals usually do the following tasks, as well:

  • Arranging and adjusting requirements for bail
  • Filing for a reduction in bond motion
  • Gathering all discovery information, which includes police reports, affidavits, and search warrants
  • Talking with probation officers

The Steps to Take

Aspiring criminal law paralegals should finish a two- or four-year degree in criminal justice or paralegal studies with a specialization in criminal law. On the other hand, there is also an increasing number of organizations that require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree.

A bachelor’s degree, however, is not enough. You’ll need the skills too.

It’s a big plus if you possess extensive knowledge of state and local federal laws and court procedures. Professionalism and dedication also make a big difference in your profession.

Career Opportunities

In the field of criminal law paralegals, private law firms are your biggest fans. Special interest groups and the government are also part of the market, but they employ only a small number of paralegals. Experienced criminal law paralegals have the extra advantage of applying for managerial and administrative positions.

Interested in this field? Sharpen up your CV and skills to earn that job.

Handling Your Finances in a Divorce

Divorce Lawyer

Things end for many reasons. Relationships, and even marriages, are not spared from such. In some cases, the end comes at an expected time, such as the death of a partner or a spouse. In some cases, the end of the relationship comes as a divorce. The situation becomes even more heartbreaking when there are properties that need to be settled once the marriage has been dissolved.

Putting Things In Perspective

Most divorce lawyers in Townsville recommend settling your finances as soon as you have started filing for the dissolution of your marriage. This would include closing any joint account that you might have with your spouse. You would need to settle and divide such accounts as agreed in your pre-nuptial agreement. If you have none, try to reach an amicable settlement with your spouse with the help of a legal counsel.
It is also a good idea to ensure that you properly record any assets that you and your spouse might have. Include debts or mortgage loans that you and your spouse might have incurred during the marriage. Keep also a separate list of assets and liabilities that are strictly under your name. This would come in handy when you are working out a list of assets.
If you are renting a house, make sure that you update your rental agreement. If you need to move out, you need to make sure that you inform the landlord and make a new rental agreement that reflects you and your partner’s new status.  This would prevent any confusion when issues arise regarding unpaid rent.

The Repercussions

Divorce lawyers can help ensure that you and your partner reach a settlement that is fair to everyone involved. Divorce is difficult enough, and the aid of a lawyer who can help you through the process is an essential step in restarting a new life.

Lawyer Aspiration’s Step One: Be a Paralegal

Law School Readings Being a paralegal teaches one or two things about your career: it may be the first step you take toward being a lawyer or it could be such a great job you realize that you want to be a lawyer. Either way, the ambition is there: you want to be a lawyer.

Whatever the case is, the experience is still the greatest advantage when you apply for law school.

While your online paralegal school might’ve taught you enough about the law, it’s always a plus to take things a step further.

Here’s how being a paralegal helps you during your law school admission process.

Learn from the Field

Being a paralegal already exposes you to the realities attorneys face every day. It paves the way for exploration of law areas that might pique your interests (which can also be your specialization after law school). Also, take a look at other potential practice areas to strategically pursue summer associate positions (another big plus if you want to go to law school).

Strong Recommendations

Letters of recommendation are valuable for your law school application. If you really want to be a lawyer, start by taking the time to build good relationships with potential recommenders. Keep in mind that the admissions committee needs evidence of your skills and characteristics. Through recommendations, they can judge if you will be a good lawyer or not.

Select endorsers who can share particular examples of your drafting, researching, and editing skills. Most experts and professors recommend coming up with at least two letters of recommendation; one of them should come from the law firm you worked for. Supervising attorneys can also write a good commendation for you.

Being a paralegal is a good experience, especially if you wish to take things up a notch. Make the most of your paralegal career and use it for your future law aspirations.

Gaining Knowledge While Studying Abroad

Studying AbroadMany people say that getting a diploma and finishing a degree is one of the happiest moments in a person’s life. But remembering some of those days when you have to wake up early and listen to class lectures all day long with the same classmates feels like a routine.

One day when you sit on the same chair you’ve sat on during previous terms, you begin to realise you’ve been in the same place too long and that you need some sort of fresh air. What do you do next? You pack a bag, book a flight and go to your next destination.

Studying Abroad

Studying should not be all about business. From time to time, it’s supposed to feel fun and exciting. One way to do that is through a student exchange program. Some people would say it takes up too much of your time, or it will be hard adjusting to a new environment. But there are many advantages when you study abroad. Not only do you get to go to a new place and explore other parts of the world, but you also learn more about a country’s culture.

New Experiences Await

Aside from these, you learn their language and meet a lot of new people to share experiences with. James Cook University Singapore says Singapore is one of the places students should consider, as it ‘offers the best of both worlds’. Going to a new place and meeting a lot of people helps you figure out what you want to do with your life. It’s not just the knowledge you gain that you can take home when you finish the program. You also have experiences and memories that become a permanent part of your life.

Living your life to the fullest does not always mean getting things done through your plans and life schedules. Sometimes you need to take a risk and let your mind take you places.