Mayowa Odusanya publishes article on training for Legal Assistants
Florida-based writer Mayowa Odusanya, in his newest article, explains what training and education is generally expected of legal assistant for law office work
Legal Assistants (or "paralegals")
Due to Ethical Rules, Paralegals will never completely replace Lawyers. Mr. Odusanya notes that only licensed attorneys may give "legal advice" to clients, and ethical rules in all U.S. States are uniform in that Paralegals are strictly prohibited from doing so. Paralegals also are prohibited from directly accepting a client's case, setting any fees, or representing a client in court (unless specifically authorized by the court, see below). All U.S. States require attorneys to be licensed and most have regulations imposing strict penalties for anyone who engages in the unauthorized practice of law. In fact, there are rules requiring appropriate supervision of Paralegals.
The largest employers of Paralegals within the legal profession are, naturally, law firms. However, businesses, corporations and governmental entities are large Paralegal employers as well. Paralegals are found in every area of legal practice, ranging from business litigation, bankruptcy law practice, estate planning, personal injury law, immigration, and corporate law. In fact, Paralegals are now common in virtually every legal practice area.
Doomsday talk persisted in the recent past that technology was set to fully replace the Paralegal industry as a result of software upgrades and automated advances. At least one major law firm today uses highly sophisticated software for research previously conducted by Paralegals and even Attorneys. Many predicted the end of the Paralegal profession. The Associated Press issued a report in 2013 which claimed that an increasing number of Attorneys were using software and other technologies to do the work previously performed by Paralegal staff. It is certainly true that such software and technologies can enable solo practitioners to handle most or all of their workload without the need for any Paralegal. However, in 2014 the Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasted a continuing positive growth rate of 8 percent growth from 2014 to 2024, and then in 2016 readjusted that figure to a 15 percent growth from 2016 to 2026 – again documenting continued growth from its original projection.
Mayowa Odusanya is an expert in the fields of criminal law and real estate. Mr. Odusanya's education includes Florida International University, College of Law, Juris Doctor, 2009; Florida A. & M. University, B.S., 2005.
Mayowa F. Odusanya