Remembering the days when lawyers have worked alone with pen and paper, legal support services and paralegals have actually played an essential role in this sector. From legal research study to composing legal briefs and meeting the clients on the behalf of attorneys to adapting detailed and changing legal technology, legal support personnel has grown considerably.
Legal assistance personnel and paralegals have actually ended up being an essential part of every legal group with more chances than before.
Recently there was a study held by the U.S. Bureau of Labor, which states that more than a quarter-million of paralegals and support personnel are working across the country, and it has been estimated that there will be an increase of 15% in the coming years for legal assistance services.
Over the next few sections, we are going to examine the past, present, and future of legal support services in law firms today. You will have a better understanding as to why and how the legal industry has changed.
Past History Legal Support Staff
As the intricacies of the law increased in the 1960s attorneys began understanding that they need added assistance to manage their caseload. Lawyers started to hunt for skilled legal personnel that were capable to tackle the tasks, associated with managing caseloads.
Earlier, the legal support services staff was accountable for administration and clerical work, however from collecting evidence to preparing witnesses for the case, the function of paralegals and legal assistance staff went from idea to growing gradually.
So, this increasing demand for legal assistance staff enabled universities to start an associate degree and certificate program for paralegal training.
Currently, there are more than 1,000 universities and colleges offering a series of legal professional courses, from a 1-year cert to an advanced degree. About 250 of these legal education courses are approved by the American Bar Association. There are numerous companies that require certificates while some ask for experience while being employed a legal assistant.
Present Role of Legal Support Personnel
Due to growth in technology, legal support staff members’ role has also transformed in a law practice. Now, they are expected to perform legal research task for cases, manage discovery processes that includes large volumes of documents, extract pertinent info for lawyers from the files, litigation support and a lot more.
These were some of the most important and time-consuming jobs for lawyers, but with the aid of innovation, even legal support personnel can carry out all these jobs effectively. This connects us to the next point.
Looking Toward the Future of Legal Support Services
Paralegal or legal assistance is the most substitutable terms utilized in the law firms, but a considerable change in their job description has been observed in the recent years. With the improvement in technology, legal markets are trying to find effective methods to streamline their work processes and there many software applications offered in the market for various legal jobs such as Clio, Smart Advocate, Abacus, and more.
Technology has largely transformed the role of legal support staff into a group of hungry multi-taskers that has the practical understanding of the legal sector and client service abilities, however can also perform as a legal technology expert.
Along with the change in innovation, outsourcing legal services has actually turned into one of the recent trends among legal representatives and law firms. It has become an economical option that helps lawyers to simplify their methods within a specific time-frame. They have in-house competence that can managing paralegal tasks such as lawsuits, contract management, and legal clerks
Times Are A-Changin’ in the Legal Profession
From previous years, the demand for legal assistance personnel and paralegals has actually proliferated in the legal market. It has ended up being difficult for attorneys to handle their legal jobs without the help of paralegals and legal assistance services. As the legal industry constantly changes, paralegal professionals must improve their abilities and drill themselves to satisfy the needs of the law office and customers also in this competitive business age.
If your law firm suspects that it is time to change how things have always “been done,” reaching out to a qualified legal services expert, like First Legal, can help your firm move in the right direction.