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What Is a Litigation Paralegal and How to Become One

What Is a Litigation Paralegal?

A litigation paralegal provides support to a litigation attorney, from the pre-discovery stage to closing arguments. The specific responsibilities of litigation paralegals vary based on the specialization of the firm, but duties include gathering and filing all necessary court documentation, interviewing clients, and preparing exhibits for trial. As a litigation paralegal, you ensure that the attorney you are working with is well-prepared for court.

How to Become a Litigation Paralegal

Though some paralegal positions require a bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies or a related field, others only require an associate degree or certification from a national certification group. The three major organizations that provide paralegal courses and certification are the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA), NALS一the Association for Legal Professionals, and the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA). The educational programs provide the basics of case law, research, and court proceedings. Some firms prefer hiring candidates with prior experience, but many offer on-the-job training. Study the types of law you want to work in; research all the paperwork required to file cases in court and meet all court deadlines; and ensure you communicate regularly with your attorneys and clients. Like lawyers, some paralegals specialize in a specific kind of law, such as commercial cases or family litigation.