First, what is a paralegal? According to the National Federation of Paralegal Associations, a paralegal or legal assistant “is a person qualified through education, training or work experience to perform substantive legal work that requires knowledge of legal concepts and is customarily, but not exclusively, performed by a lawyer.”
Paralegals assist attorneys by working with clients not only to help speed the process of getting things accomplished, but by performing duties at a lower hourly rate, they are able to pass valuable savings on to their client.
A prime function of a paralegal assisting in family law is working with clients to obtain facts regarding their matter. Some paralegal duties in family law include but are not limited to: preparing documents, contracts, agreements, completing questionnaire forms, arranging for service of documents, obtaining dates for court hearings, calendaring deadlines, assisting clients in preparation of mandatory case disclosure forms which include monthly income, expense, and other financial information.
Paralegals act as a liaison between the attorney and the client in every aspect of a case except the actual practice of law, consultations, and court proceedings. As a client you will work closely with a paralegal. Family law paralegals deal with joyous matters such as adoptions and guardianships and not so joyous matters such as divorce and custody matters on a daily basis and treat each client individually and with respect.
Your first meeting at Surratt Law Practice will be a consultation with an attorney to discuss your matter. After your consultation you will be introduced to the attorney’s paralegal, who will be your main contact with our office. Paralegals cannot give you any legal advice but will talk with you regarding your situation and relay that information to your attorney to expedite getting you the answers that you need. You can be assured that all information disclosed either to the attorney, paralegal or other staff members at Surratt Law Practice will be held in strict confidence.
We look forward to working with you to make your family law matter go as smooth as possible.