Litigation paralegals specialize in assisting with legal cases that go to trial. They may assist with any and all parts of the legal process as pertains to the trial, from preparing for the case through the post-trial appeals process. Litigation paralegals often serve as the point person for the trial, both acting as liaisons between the trial lawyer and all the other parties involved in the case and coordinating the research and administrative duties as related to the trial. According to a 2010 salary survey performed by the National Association of Legal Assistants, the average salary for a civil litigation paralegal is $53050.
Litigation paralegals must be highly organized and pay close attention to details. It is often their job to ensure that all necessary documentation for a trial is obtained and organized, all necessary court documents are prepared and filed, and all exhibits are prepared and available at trial. Performing these job duties often takes coordinating a team of people and liaising with both internal departments and external organizations.
Additional job responsibilities of the litigation paralegal may include:
- Performing initial case assessments and investigating claims
- Creating pleadings, including summons and affidavits
- Ensuring that copies of documentation are properly filed and distributed
- Calendaring dates
- Creating and organizing appendices, briefs, indexes
- Establishing a chronology of facts
- Locating and interviewing witnesses, and preparing selected witnesses for trial
- Researching aspects of the case for purposes of discovery, including requesting admissions and production, and factual legal research
- Drafting interrogatories
- Identifying and contacting experts who may help in a case
- Attending hearings and trials in order to take notes, assist in jury selection, observe the jury, handle exhibits and many other tasks