A Paralegal Job Description - What's In A Job?

A paralegal job description varies from employer to employer. You're unlikely to find any two positions describing the same duties and responsibilities.

Naturally, each firm has their own unique needs to fill.

You'll find a paralegal job description in each specialty listed below.

  • Patent Prosecution
  • Unlawful Detainer
  • Family Law
  • Litigation Support Senior Analyst
  • Internet, E-Commerce and Media Litigation

Patent Prosecution Paralegal

A nationwide and international law firm with a diverse practice, has an immediate opening for an experienced Patent Prosecution Paralegal.

We seek an experienced and highly organized patent paralegal to support the attorneys in all phases of U.S. and some foreign patent prosecution cases.

Paralegal job description:

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Managing selected docket items;
  • Drafting correspondence and prosecution documents;
  • Preparing status reports;
  • Conducting electronic patent searches;
  • Reviewing and updating files; and
  • Researching technical references, patents and legal issues.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities required include:

  • Minimum 5 years general paralegal experience and at least 4 years experience with patent prosecution work within a law firm, professional services firm or in house counsel.

  • Experience with Biotechnology, Chemistry or Electrical patents is a plus.

  • Extensive knowledge of computer systems and programs, including Word and Excel.

  • Extensive knowledge of legal terminology, processes and definitions, as well as specific understanding of prosecution processes and procedures and patents.

  • Experience and understanding of the working of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Offices, including navigation of their website.

  • Strong research background.

  • Strong organizational skills, including the ability to work independently and prioritize work effectively. Attention to detail is essential.

  • Excellent communication skills, written and verbal are required.

  • Ability to analyze legal issues, formulate solutions to problems and to plan projects and workload is essential.

Education: An undergraduate college degree and/or paralegal certificate from an accredited ABA approved institution is required.

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Litigation Support Senior Analyst

Paralegal job description:

A leading global law firm with offices in Boston, Chicago, Hong Kong, London, New York, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Tokyo, and Washington, DC.

Built on a foundation of over 140 years of dedication to forging strong client relationships, we represent interests across a broad spectrum of industries in corporate law and litigation matters.

Paralegal job description:

Participates as a team member and assists attorneys, paralegals and senior litigation technology professionals with litigation matters by playing a significant role in the work required to support the firm's clients.

This hands-on position provides advanced technology support and training for all stages of the litigation process, including e-discovery and trial project management.

This position reports to the Litigation Technology Supervisor, may be directed by Litigation Technology Specialists, and instructs, delegates to and is assisted by the Litigation Support Analysts and Technicians. Availability for overtime and flexibility for travel are required.

Essential Functions:

  1. Works with case teams and senior litigation technology professionals to assess and support technology needs throughout all stages of the litigation or government investigation process.

  2. Responsible for the advanced technical and project management aspects of discovery and trial support, including the stages outlined in the Electronic Discovery Reference Model.

  3. Coordinates with senior litigation technology professionals and case teams to select, communicate with and manage outside vendors for electronic discovery projects.

  4. Works with case teams and vendors to prepare project design and coding manuals.

  5. Acts as the main contact for service issues with electronic data collection, processing and hosting vendors.

  6. Provides consultation and project management services to litigation teams regarding database design and e-discovery workflow.

  7. Develops technology related training and document review workflow processes for contract attorneys.

  8. Tracks multiple projects to ensure case deadlines are met.

  9. Develops recommendations, plans, cost estimates, budgets, procedures and specifications for case-specific projects.

  10. Consults with and provides trial support services to case teams, including coordination of on-site and courtroom technology, on-site support and trial presentation services.

  11. Coordinates and prepares presentation databases and equipment for use at trial and in war rooms.

  12. Develops and provides one-on-one or case team training for litigation technology applications and courtroom technology as needed.

  13. Develops and teaches litigation technology classes in the attorney and staff training programs. Prepares training materials and related documentation.

Education, Experience and Skills Required:

The successful candidate will have a bachelor's degree, a minimum of 4 years of law firm litigation support experience, excellent organization, project management and communication skills.

Advanced knowledge of litigation applications and discovery processes and technologies, including e-discovery, advanced understanding of the entire litigation support process and substantial document control and case management experience.

Essential Capabilities:

  • Able to maintain strict confidentiality of the firm's internal and personnel affairs.

  • Able to interact effectively and professionally with all levels of personnel, including attorneys, paralegals and technical support personnel.

  • Able to learn new skills as technology changes. Possesses strong oral and written communication skills.

  • Must pay attention to detail and be able to follow up and follow through.

  • Able to utilize judgment to make sound, justifiable recommendations and know when and to whom to escalate issues.

  • Able to be a proactive self-starter who understands the details within a much larger context.

  • Able to work under tight deadlines, carry out multiple related activities simultaneously and prioritize appropriately.

  • Able to work effectively in a culturally and educationally diverse environment.

  • Able to travel nationally and internationally, often on short notice.

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Internet, E-Commerce and Media Litigation Paralegal

Paralegal job description:

We are a well respected boutique law firm focusing on Internet, e-commerce and media. We are seeking a full-time Junior Paralegal to help support our growing litigation practice.

We will consider candidates with little or no experience who can demonstrate an eagerness to learn and an aptitude for complex ideas and processes.

Paralegal Duties include:

  • Information/Document Management -- assist with collection and distribution of facts, research and documents relating to client matters.

  • Production -- preparation of legal documents using current law office technologies and outside vendors.

  • Court Filings and Service of Process -- management of court filings, ensuring compliance with local court rules, including follow-up with process servers, court clerks and opposing parties.

  • Calendar Management -- assist attorneys in recording and tracking litigation-related deadlines.

  • General Office -- phones, faxes, copies and other tasks as needed.

We offer a competitive salary, benefits, work/life balance and a relaxed office environment with equally energetic, bright colleagues.

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Unlawful Detainer Legal Assistant:

Paralegal job description:

Small law firm seeks an unlawful detainer legal assistant. Our office specializes in Unlawful Detainer work, residential, as well as commercial. This is a full-time position.

The position requires a background in all phases of Unlawful Detainer case work including, but not limited to, preparing notices, pleadings, default and judgment packages. You must also be well-versed in the Legal Solutions and ProDoc software. (Spanish language is a plus.)

General responsibilities will include:

  • opening the office,
  • answering phones,
  • typing,
  • calendaring,
  • maintaining the case filing system, and
  • interacting with opposing counsel and court clerks
  • scheduling hearings,
  • preparing pleading and legal forms,
  • assisting with basic discovery,
  • preparing legal documents for filing in court, and
  • additional administrative functions.

A strong team player is needed, who is detailed and thrives in a fast paced working atmosphere.

This position offers an excellent opportunity to expand one's knowledge, responsibility and position with a long-time firm.

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Litigation Paralegal

Paralegal job description:

Duties and Responsibilities Include:

  • Draft various pleadings and other documents, including declarations and motions, assembly and preparation for filing.
  • Document review, preparation of discovery responses and document production, including service on all parties.
  • Legal research
  • Administrative support to the partner including drafting and sending correspondence, proofreading, copying, etc..
  • Act as liaison to clients and other key contacts

We are looking for a self-motivated person with excellent attention to detail and proactive attitude. Strong communication and organizational skills and the ability to prioritize and multi-task in a fast-paced environment are key.

Qualified candidates meeting the paralegal job description must possess working knowledge and understanding of federal and state court rules and procedures and be proficient with MS Word and Outlook.

A minimum of two years of prior relevant experience is required. Proficiency in spoken and written Spanish is preferred. Paralegal certificate is a plus but not required.

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Family Law Litigation Paralegal

Paralegal job description:

The successful candidate will be proficient in Word, Excel, Outlook, Essential Forms, Timeslips, Adobe Acrobat and other standard family law applications. The candidate must demonstrate experience and proficiency with tasks such as:

  • preparing draft disclosures;
  • filing/serving motions and other pleadings;
  • service of legal process,
  • preparing discovery requests/responses,
  • calendaring litigation events, etc.
  • Understanding of and experience with financial records required.

The candidate will have experience interacting with clients, court clerks, and opposing counsel and their staff. Strong writing and verbal communication skills are essential. The candidate will also have experience billing their time and meeting billable hour goals.

You may not necessarily meet all of criteria listed in a paralegal job description. Don't be discouraged. If you've got most of what an employer is looking for, you'll likely get an interview. That's when you'll have the chance to shine and talk up your experience and skills.

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