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A paralegal invoice is a billing document used by paralegals for issuing a notice of payment to a lawyer, law office, or corporation for legal-related services. The number of hours worked, a description of tasks completed, and the full amount due should be included in the invoice.
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A paralegal is a person who performs delegated substantive legal work under or retained by a lawyer, law office, or a corporation (in-house counsel). Paralegals are not licensed attorneys, however, a licensed attorney could still work as a paralegal. A paralegal is someone who is qualified to work in the subject matter of law due to past training, education, or work experience. At the end of the day, there is always a lawyer supervising a paralegal’s work.
Paralegals typically do the “grunt work” for attorneys, and many future lawyers internship as a paralegal for the experience. Common tasks performed by a paralegal are:
- Researching (often on the internet) and preparing information for a case;
- Drafting and editing legal documents/records;
- Help to assist at trials, hearings, and depositions;
- Communicate with clients on behalf of attorneys;
- Help with scheduling.
There are harsh penalties for the unauthorized practice of law (UPL). Duties that a paralegal may NOT do:
- Offer legal services to the public;
- Represent a person in court (tribunal) or give legal advice on their own (unless allowed under law);
- Charge clients a fee.
There is no state-required test or certificate to obtain in order to work as a paralegal. Finding a job as a paralegal comes down to finding an attorney or law office that believes in your ability to practice as a paralegal. Businesses who hire paralegals always require the candidate to have some formal education in law or to have had previous experience. Paralegals are not required to pass the state bar exam in order to work, as all of their work will be supervised by a licensed attorney that has passed the bar exam.
There are over 300,000 people in the US employed as paralegals. Their average salary and hourly rate are as follows: