Job Description for a Personal Injury Paralegal

By Sophie Stillwell

A paralegal takes on many responsibilities in a personal injury law office. His duties should be performed with the utmost diligence. Many of the tasks he does reflect directly upon the reputation and standing of his supervising lawyer. If a paralegal does his job poorly, he could cause a client to lose a case.

Interviewing

A paralegal interviews clients, witnesses, doctors and police officers. She may also meet with potential clients and assess whether or not her law office would be interested in the case.

Gathering Reports and Records

A paralegal gathers many reports and records. These may include medical records, police reports, prior court filings or any kind of documents that can strengthen a case.

Creating and Filing Documents

A paralegal creates record requests, letters, court filings, lawyer notes, and client communications. He may also be required to take legal documents to the courthouse to be officially registered or filed.

Other Duties

Depending upon the size of the law office she works in, a paralegal can also be a receptionist, personal assistant, book keeper or legal researcher. Smaller offices usually include these kinds of duties.

Education

The accepted standard for paralegal education is the Certified Legal Assistant/Certified Paralegal exam, commonly called the CLA exam. There are very specific requirements to be eligible to sit for the exam and only 40 percent of people pass it on their first try. Although this is the only way a paralegal can have the "Certified" title, many law offices do not require certification when hiring a paralegal.

About the Author

Sophie Stillwell has been writing professionally since 1992. She is published in "The Gorham Times" newspaper, "Private Colleges & Universities" magazine, on eHow and in several other publications. She has experience working as a paralegal, antiques dealer and neurobehavioral coach. Her writing topics frequently include frugal living, pets and health. Stillwell holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Southern Maine.