Is A Paralegal A Lawyer?
Paralegal and lawyer are the names of the two distinct professions in the world of law. Paralegals are not lawyers as they do not possess any degree associated with the field. The duties that both professions perform are fundamentally the distinguishing factors. Therefore, to understand the difference, we need to know the professional responsibilities of the two domains. Fundamentally, paralegals may be capable of doing tasks similar to the ones the lawyers do. Still, they are not allowed to execute these tasks without the supervision of a lawyer. One of the basic differences is that only licensed lawyers are authorized to practice law. On the contrary, paralegals cannot execute formal proceedings associated with the conduct of legal issues.
Paralegals are only there to shoulder the burden of licensed lawyers as they help the lawyers to collect data and organize the information of a certain case. The lead role in the proceeding of a dispute is of a lawyer, while the paralegals play a side role by providing the lawyers with the necessary support for side chores. Paralegals are not allowed to interview witnesses and clients without the supervision of a licensed lawyer. The job duties of both professions may overlap, but paralegals primarily handle the legwork. Conversely, the lawyers represent their clients in the courtroom and correspond with opponents. Only lawyers can fix the fees for legal consultancy or advice; paralegals cannot confer their prices with the clients. In addition, only a lawyer’s signature on a legal document is considered to have the weightage to proceed with. Paralegals cannot add value to the papers through their signatures on the files. To sum up, the paralegals may burn their calories to help in the case; the lawyers are the only ones to get the recognition, whether it be positive or negative.
Education is the major distinguishing factor between the two domains. Becoming a lawyer takes a toll on your budget and demands a significant period of your life. Most law students spend seven years of their lives attaining the appropriate education for the job. The first four years are devoured on graduation. At the same time, the rest three years are consumed in law school. In contrast, paralegals are not restricted to getting a specific degree for the job. They can attend a training session, work under an attorney, and they are good to go.