Family law paralegals typically work for private firms or government agencies that deal with domestic relationships, such as marriage, children, and parents. Family law encompasses such matters as prenuptial agreements, same sex domestic partnership, divorce, adoption, establishing paternity, child custody, child welfare and domestic violence. The average salary of a family law paralegal is $45,012, according to the 2010 salary survey published by the National Association of Legal Assistants.
Because of the sensitive nature of the cases handled by family law attorneys, family law paralegals must have excellent interpersonal skills. High standards of ethics, including maintaining confidentiality, are also vital. Paralegals must be able to interview clients and witnesses thoroughly, professionally and tactfully.
Family law paralegals work in a specialty that can be both very difficult and extremely rewarding. They have the opportunity to make very positive differences in people’s lives during stressful or difficult times.
Some job duties of family law paralegals include:
- Obtaining legal documents including marriage certificates and birth certificates
- Locating absent parties
- Uncovering individual assets
- Managing service of process
- Drafting interrogatories and production of documents, and responding to requests for the same
- Filing legal documents
- Working with a mediator to assist the two parties in reaching divorce or custody agreement