A legal assistant is usually someone who works for a lawyer or in a legal capacity. As a result of the changes in role, the Association of Legal Administrators (ALA) states that legal assistants (PDF, 2.8 MB) “divide their time equally between paralegal duties, including research and preparation of discoveries, and the duties of legal secretary, up to filing, filing, filing and assisting their counsel in legal practice.” Whether you work as a paralegal or paralegal, your specific responsibilities may depend on the size of your law firm. For example, in a large law firm, each lawyer may have their own legal assistant, but a small law firm may employ only one legal administrative assistant for the entire organization. In South Africa, paralegals or paralegals must have a thorough knowledge of the law and the administration of justice. Their responsibilities may include: communicating with their employers` clients to help resolve legal issues, conducting legal research, preparing court cases and connecting with the public. This programme is specifically designed to provide a comprehensive overview of all aspects of paralegal specialisation and an understanding of individual rights and the rights of others. Paralegal offers the use and application of skills and competencies related to criminal and procedural law, civil litigation, wills and estates, dispute resolution, legal advice, property law and transfer of property, as well as legal practice management and collection/collection advice. [ref. Becoming a state-certified paralegal after completing your program can increase your career prospects. The original concept of paralegals in the United Kingdom began in the mid-1980s with the Paralegal Association (now the National Association of Licensed Paralegals). The Institute of Paralegals is the oldest recognised professional body for paralegals in the UK, setting standards of competence for paralegals and legal secretaries, providing legal qualifications and support, representing and promoting paralegals.
In response, prosecutors appointed a public protection committee to review the Los Angeles Bar Association`s application. Then, “in 1988, the Public Protection Committee unanimously recommended that the California legislature completely repeal the state`s UPL laws. It also concluded that independent paralegals should be allowed to provide all types of legal services as long as they are registered with a state authority and disclose their non-lawyer status to all clients. After many local bar associations reacted with dismay, “the California Bar Association appointed a third group (the Legal Engineers Commission) to revisit the issue. The commission largely agreed with the findings of its predecessors and recommended that non-lawyers be allowed by the California Supreme Court to provide legal services in several key areas (bankruptcy, family, immigration, and landlord-tenants) under a licensing system overseen by an independent state agency.  Recently, however, paralegals have not only been considered qualified legal assistants. It is now an emerging and increasingly independent group of lawyers. Until Business and Professions Code § 6450 was signed into law by Governor Gray Davis in 2000, there was little regulation for paralegals in California. One of the objectives of the regulation under section 6450 of the Commercial and Professional Code was to shut down paralegals who provided self-help legal services to consumers. [ref.
needed] There have been relatively few consumer complaints against paralegals; Instead, most of the complaints came from attorneys urging California prosecutors to oversee unauthorized legal practice (UPL). [ref. needed] A paralegal in a small business could be a generalist covering many responsibilities. On a larger scale, each specialist paralegal may focus on a single aspect of practice, such as filing applications or conducting research. Your training as a paralegal can also help prepare you for other careers. For example, you may want to consider working as a legal secretary. Your legal education can be beneficial in this position. A legal secretary is usually a secretary who has a basic understanding of legal terminology and specific formatting required by a particular court or government agency.
Legal secretaries are also generally responsible for organizing and indexing files and often act as case writers. Although legal secretaries may be trained to prepare basic legal documents and letters, they usually have little or no knowledge of specific legal doctrines, laws or regulations, and generally have no training or experience in legal research or drafting legal documents, briefs, motions, briefs or other court documents. On the other hand, a typical paralegal in the United States can perform all of these tasks under the direction of a lawyer or law firm. Paralegals charge a higher price for their time than legal secretaries. In the United States, there is no paralegal licensed by a government agency; Instead, paralegals may be “registered”, “certified” or certified by private organizations. While many work in private practice, it is also common for paralegals and paralegals to work in real estate, in-house legal services, health care, and not-for-profit organizations. A legal assistant is a professional who provides administrative services in a law firm or similar environment. Depending on the job, they may also share the responsibilities and duties of a paralegal. Paralegals exist precisely because they are not lawyers, so they can do the job at a lower cost.
 In addition to expertise, the main restrictions on the work a paralegal may or may not do tend to be local by-laws that reserve certain activities for lawyers (i.e., granting a monopoly). Some jurisdictions have a list of reserved activities. In the United States, the American Bar Association (ABA) endorsed the paralegal concept in 1967 and established its first legal assistant committee in 1968. You may be surprised to learn that no state offers a permit to become a paralegal. However, some employers may refer to national or state paralegal certifications when interviewing candidates, such as National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) certifications. These standards include obtaining the Chartered Paralegal (CP) exam and completing an ABA-recognized paralegal training program. All certifications to become a paralegal are voluntary, but may be recommended. In Ontario, paralegals are licensed by the Law Society of Ontario.
 Ontario, along with Washington State, is the only jurisdiction in the Western Hemisphere where paralegals are licensed and the profession of clerk is regulated. Licensed paralegals operate in a defined area of practice, representing clients in matters such as provincial offences (speeding tickets, etc.), immigration, landlord-tenant disputes, labour law, small claims court (up to $35,000) and specific criminal matters. You are currently not allowed to represent clients in family court or wills. By virtue of their office, licensed paralegals are commissioners responsible for taking affidavits (oaths of oath).