Paralegal vs Lawyer
Paralegal and Lawyer are two terms that are sometimes confused as referring to one and the same profession. Strictly speaking the two professions are different in terms of the nature of their work.
A lawyer is the one who practices law. He is a professional by nature. On the other hand a paralegal is the one who helps the lawyer in the conduct of the cases that he deals with. Thus a paralegal assists a lawyer like a paramedical assists a doctor.
It is interesting to note that a lawyer had been to a law school and had passed the bar exam. A paralegal for that matter should have completed some specialized academic training. Many colleges and universities conduct course in paralegal studies from certifiacte level to bachelor’s degrees. Sometimes it is possible to get appointment as a paralegal simply by virtue of a bachelor’s degree.
One of the main differences between lawyer and paralegal is that a paralegal is not a lawyer but on the other hand he or she knows so much about the law and the various proceedings and processes related to the practice of law.
A paralegal for that matter is well versed with aspects such as deadlines, contracts, court proceedings and evidence. One of the most important jobs of the paralegal is that he travels with the lawyer and assists him by conducting legal research. On the other hand a lawyer alone is entitled to conduct the case.
In short it can be said that a lawyer is very much dependent on the facts submitted by the paralegal. The lawyer gives full liberty to the paralegal to carry out legal research. He is in fact paid for conducting such a kind of research.
However, paralegals are not the same everywhere. In some contries like Ontario, Canada they are licensed to practice independently and allowed to represent their clients on many matters in provincial courts.