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What You Need to Know About Being a Paralegal

Categories: Law and Finance
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a paralegal workingChoosing a career path must be one of the toughest decisions in a person’s life. The hours and money that one needs to spend on getting a degree is a huge investment. That’s why it’s important to take your time when making this decision and evaluate all your options carefully. Other than your financial capability, you need to consider your passion and tenacity for your chosen career.

Once you’ve made a decision and have already started investing your time and energy in your chosen degree, backing out will mean wasted years and money. For those who love intellectual challenges, pursuing a paralegal degree in NYC might be a great option. Here’s why:

1. Great Pay

Paralegals receive good compensation since they can work on a wide variety of tasks that most can only be done by someone with a solid background in law. This makes the demand for paralegal services high. They also get generous bonuses from law firms and of course, working longer hours’ means a hefty overtime pay. So, if you are gearing towards an intellectually motivating and financially rewarding career, being a paralegal may be perfect for you.

2. Convenient Education

There is no need to spend seven years in law school in order to become a paralegal. What makes this career great is the fact that you can take your degree via live lecture, online, or even in DVD format. This means you can take your paralegal degree even while you’re employed, making it convenient even for full-time employees. This isn’t something that is available to many other careers that also pay well.

3. Growing Client Network

Paralegals work with law firms and their clients, allowing them to meet influential and important people. Having important contacts in your network can help you grow your career or even get good business advice. You will also get invited to prestigious events as a part of your job, all expense paid, of course.

There is more to being a paralegal than just the money. If you are looking for more than just a 9-5 desk job and are interested in learning every step of the way, then this career might be right for you.


Paralegal 101: How to Find and Retain an Expert Witness

Categories: Law and Finance
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an expert witness checking on blood samples in a labCourts use testimonies from an expert witness in a wide array of cases. These experts are usually scientists, doctors, and industry insiders who could make or break a case. As a paralegal, it’s your job to find the right expert witness for a case and coordinate with them. You could make the entire process simpler and more efficient for everyone involved with the following guidelines.

Finding an Expert Witness

First, you could ask for recommendations from people in your firm, bar associations, and paralegal groups. You could likewise search online and scour paralegal forums. If you want more options, you could also use an expert search company.

After narrowing down your search and shortlisting around three to six prospective witnesses, make copies of their CVs and hand them out to the litigation team involved in the case. If a prospective witness’s CV or resume doesn’t expound on a case testimony they previously testified to, request more information. Once your team has chosen an expert witness, don’t forget to run a conflict check to avoid issues later on.

Negotiating Expert Fees

Fees could differ significantly depending on experience, field of expertise, records needed for the case, and the specific types of testimony your team requires, explains a top instructor of The Center For Legal Studies, which offers online paralegal programs. When asking about fees, make sure to ask about the hourly rate, including hours spent researching, preparing, and reviewing records, as well as travel and accommodation needs. Make sure to pay close attention to the terms of the contract, specifically due dates and prepayments.

Obtaining Consent from the Client

To formally retain the chosen expert witness, you need to get client approval. Arrange a conference call or meeting with the team’s lead lawyer and the client to discuss everything about the witness. Remember your main goal — to gain the client’s consent.

Your efforts to find and retain an expert witness could be very critical to the results of the case and throughout the mediation, deposition, and trial. To that end, you need to establish a great working relationship with the expert witness and be ready to provide assistance should they need it.