What exactly is a Contract Paralegal?
It can be confusing.
Perhaps you were thinking this type of legal assistant is someone who works on a contract basis. That is they do projects such as document reviews for law offices for a specified period of time.
When the project concludes so too does their employment.
That’s not quite what we’re talking about in this article. A contract paralegal is a specialist in the area of third-party contracts, their development, fulfillment, administration and tracking of contractual obligations.
A paralegal of this specialty is well versed with contract documents and language and is able to identify and summarize material terms.
They also demonstrate a strong understanding of the life cycle of contracts from development, evaluation, negotiation, to approval, tracking, close-out and day-to-day management.
A legal assistant in this role possesses strong organizational, problem-solving and analytical skills. You would also display excellent judgment with the ability to make timely and sound decisions.
Like most paralegal positions, it is essential you provide meticulous attention to detail and quality of work product.
Your attorneys rely upon you for these skills.
Because you’re skills are very important, you’ll find they're valued fairly well. The average paralegal salary in this specialty is anywhere from $40,000 to $80,000 in metropolitan areas.
The list of duties and responsibilities a Contract Paralegal might encounter on the job include some of the following:
- Responsible for the timely preparation, review, and execution of a high volume and diverse range of complex agreements and related schedules/exhibits;
- Manage the workflow of incoming transactional agreements;
- Identify, summarize and document material terms and key dates of executed agreements;
- Utilize calendaring system to track contractual obligations and follow up to ensure timely performance and adherence to terms;
- Administer transactional agreements, including but not limited to, license agreements, lease agreements, real estate purchase agreements, services agreements, etc.;
- Resolve routine issues such as amendments and renewals and consult with attorneys when complex legal questions arise that require attorney input;
- Administer processes to: (i) ensure consistent use of best practice terms and conditions; (ii) ensure proposed changes receive appropriate review and approval; (iii) encourage use of standard legal forms; (iv) standardize approval, execution and archiving processes; and (v) track and report all key deadlines; and
- Tailor template agreements for use in specific transactions.
The highest level of professionalism is expected of you because you’re working right in closely with attorneys. They depend on you to rise to their level and essentially work shoulder to shoulder with them.
Ownership of your work product is important in this position. Of course with these great demands and responsibilities you'll enjoy very generous wages, bonuses and other benefits.
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