Paralegals are legal professionals that have less schooling than lawyers, but often handle many day-to-day operations in a law firm. If you schedule a meeting to speak with a law firm about your issues, you may find yourself meeting first with a paralegal. The paralegal may be able to provide you with some legal advice free of charge, as well as refer you to an appropriate lawyer in the firm. Here are some other legal services that are provided by a paralegal and why it may be helpful to consult a paralegal first.
Organization of Your Documents
When you bring paperwork into the office for your case, you may be handing it off to the paralegal. The paralegal will be the one who types everything up, makes it neat and tidy, and then hands it off to your lawyer the clerk of courts. The paralegal will also organize your documents for you so that if you are somewhat disorganized, you need not worry about how your paperwork looks. These services may be included in the fees your lawyer charges, or there may be a separate fee for these services. Typically, however, they are included.
Research for Your Case
If your case requires any research, typically the paralegal handles the research for you and your lawyer. The paralegal has enough legal knowledge about the laws in your county and state that he or she can look up any suspected infractions of the law for you (for example, is it breaking the law if you cross at a crosswalk but walk outside the white lines, thus causing an accident...). Additionally, if you cannot gain access to certain information or court documents that you need, the paralegal may have access to these sites and agencies and can get the information for you. If the lawyer acquires a subpoena for certain information, it may be the paralegal who peruses through the files or documents for the information needed to support your claims/story.
Referrals to the Correct Branches of Law and Free Legal Advice
Many times people do not know which type of lawyer they should hire or to whom they should take their case. A paralegal can help you find the appropriate legal branch of law and may even refer you to some of the best lawyers in their firm for that particular branch of law. Additionally, if you want or need a less expensive lawyer or free legal advice, many paralegals offer their services through free legal assistance clinics in the community (one such example is the free legal aid and reduced cost lawyers in Chicago). If you just need some legal advice about your issues, you might consult a paralegal through these community clinics. Contact legal services like that of Gregory J Hermiller for more information.
If you are unable to work because of an illness or injury, you may qualify for social security disability payments. This money comes from a fund you have probably contributed to during your time in the work force, and it is likely that you have the right to disability payments using this money. As an attorney specializing in social security disability, I have a great deal of experience in helping clients determine if they qualify for disability payments. I hope that this blog will help people who have been injured understand what it means to qualify for social security disability benefits and how to go about getting that help.