The Importance of Legal Research and Writing Skills for Paralegals

Legal writing is an important skill for any lawyer. Here are 11 tips for powerful and persuasive legal writing. The ABA Journal offers lawyers advice for better legal writing. Paralegals will also benefit from these clues: for anyone who has ever experienced writer`s block, or for those who simply don`t like to write, learning to write clearly can be a daunting task. But there are many things law students can do to make things easier and much more enjoyable. The legal research skills used by paralegals to assist their lawyers are primarily, but not limited to, finding individual facts, organizing files, communicating and interviewing witnesses, gathering evidence, and preparing the necessary legal documents for each case. Clearly, the work of the paralegal is crucial to a lawyer`s success in the courtroom. An organized record provides the lawyer with the documents they need to make a compelling and substantiated case under the law. Through strong research skills, a paralegal gains more and more experience in researching all the legal precedents that allow lawyers to successfully argue the legal points necessary to admit evidence in a case in order to create a quality to prosecute that ultimately supports the client`s position.

One of the first services entrusted to the specialized agencies was legal research and drafting. This does not diminish its importance – in terms of the crucial role it plays in the legal industry, it occupies a leading position among all backend services. As a paralegal, developing your communication and writing skills can seem daunting (especially if you work at a busy law firm!), but there are many simple ways to improve your skills. And as an added bonus, these skills can help you make your job easier, impress your employees, and help you deliver a customer-centric experience. Vicki Voisin: Well, it`s a really impressive biography and I`ll thank you in advance for everything you`ve done for paralegals and everything you`ve done to promote the paralegal profession, and when Charlsye Diaz Smith and I co-authored The Paralegal Professional, we appreciate your contributions to this professional field so much. that we have dedicated the book to you and that we call you the extraordinary mentor for paralegals around the world and I tell you that is appropriate. It also requires special skills to maintain high research standards. Thus, it is rightly said that the strength of lawyers lies not in their knowledge of the law, but in their ability to find relevant sections through research and reconcile them with their requirements through an optimized interpretation of the results. Up to the same point, grammatically correct writing in communication and writing is crucial for paralegals. Following grammatical conventions will help you maintain your credibility and ensure that your writing is clear and concise. Paralegals develop their research and other skills through formal education and on-the-job training. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most paralegals and paralegals have an associate`s degree in paralegal studies or a bachelor`s degree in another field and a certificate in paralegal studies.

However, some employers may hire college graduates with a bachelor`s degree but no legal experience or training and then train them on the job. Vicki Voisin: Welcome back to Paralegal Voice. My name is Vicki Voisin and my guest today is Virginia Koerselman Newman, Esq., whom I call Jenny. Jenny and I discussed the importance of good writing skills for paralegals, both in school and at work. Jenny, if they have problems with their writing skills, how can they improve or even learn basic skills? This article explains why communication and copywriting are essential for paralegals, offers tips and tricks for becoming a confident legal writer and communicator, and shows how legal practice management software can help you take your skills to the next level. Professor Kimble also recommends that students write clearly and in plain language, as those who need to read their texts have little time to waste trying to find the information they need, hidden in “turgid prose.” But he quotes the cultural historian and writer Jacques Barzun for the simple truth about writing in simple language: “Simple English is nobody`s mother tongue. We have to work for that. Vicki Voisin: Jenny, every website is a work in progress.

When I look at mine, I`m like, oh my God, I have to work on it, and then other things get in the way. I really appreciate you coming to see me today, I think your points about improving writing skills were just excellent, they are so valuable. And I`m going to ask you, will I see you at the NALA convention in Tulsa in July? Whether you`re a lawyer or a paralegal, working at a law firm usually involves a lot of writing and design. For example, the daily work of paralegals includes: Vicki Voisin: Welcome back to Paralegal Voice, I hope you enjoyed my guest, Virginia Koerselman, Esq. She`s just a wonderful person, I just told someone she`s the best since she cut bread for paralegals; So we are not going to let them retire. My practical advice for today is somewhat reminiscent of what Jenny just told us. The Strunk and White manual is excellent, you should all have it as a reference. There`s no point in just checking it in the library, you need it as a constant reference. Therefore, I encourage you to invest in certain products that will help you develop the skills you need. Also, be sure to read the State Bar Journal when it arrives on your desk. Lawyer`s Weekly is another great read. Blogs are great; I`ve found that many bloggers pride themselves on being able to write quickly, so they post a lot of material.

When I do my blog, which I haven`t done in a long time, I really have to think about it and fix it and all these things, so I`m much slower. But read them, you will see how they write and so on. And remember that they write for a different audience, which also brings out this: When I spoke to attorney Kevin Dubus in September, I think he was a guest on the show and we focused on writing for the way people read today. You might want to go back and listen to this too, another great guest we had. So that`s pretty much all the time we have today for Paralegal Voice; If you have any questions about the show, please email me at [email protected]. Vicki is spelled V-I-C-K-I. Also, don`t forget to visit my website ParalegalMentor.com where things have been designed to help you move your career in the right direction, what I always say is forward. Meet Vicki Voisin thanking you for listening to the Voice of Paralegals and reminding you to make your paralegal`s voice heard. There was no shortage in the business – in fact, there was a huge increase in business with people who needed legal help to fend off buyouts of their businesses or solve problems with their mortgages and other bankrupt loans. Distinguished Professor Emeritus Joseph Kimble, author of three books and numerous articles on legal writing, editor of The Scribes Journal of Legal Writing, and longtime editor of the Michigan Bar Journal`s “Plain Language” column, agrees. Kimble, who is internationally recognized as a leading advocate of plain language in law, raised the issue at a recent opening ceremony of the Cooley MMU.

To make your case compelling, you need to present your argument with concise legal writing. Paralegals draft and process a range of documents: applications, factums, promissory notes, loan agreements, trust agreements, wills, plea agreements, etc. According to the paralegal association NALA, more than 69 percent of respondents to its 2018 paralegal survey work in private law firms, where they are involved in civil lawsuits, family law, assault, criminal law, and mass crimes, among others. There is no doubt that the complex legal tasks of a certified paralegal require the highest drafting skills. Communication and writing for paralegals can be mastered, but you have to get the job done. By writing daily, asking for feedback, considering your audience, learning about legal research and citation, and most importantly, writing well, you`ll delight your employees and clients in no time. Whether you`re starting a journal or actively looking for ways to write more at work, write as much as you can. Check out online resources for legal writing tips to broaden your skills and better understand tips and tricks to improve your writing. “If you complete this program, you will produce more documents than a first-year law student,” said attorney Richard B. Herman, one of the leading criminal defense attorneys in the United States, a CNN contributor and supporter of USF`s approach to training certified paralegals. A paralegal is first and foremost a research professional who is familiar with applicable legislation and all annual updates and amendments.

While the lawyer is able to package and communicate the legal points from which they can argue their case on behalf of clients, most of the legal research presented to them is done by paralegals. While the experienced lawyer oversees and makes the final decision on which legal issues to use, the paralegal enjoys a place as a trusted assistant whose ability to perform their job can make or break a legal case. Virginia Koerselman Newman: Well, I certainly don`t need to think about it, it`s definitely a matter of writing skills. They have a hard time rising to the level needed for this area. While we have emphasized the importance of writing and communication for paralegals above, there will be times when you can benefit from document automation. For example, many routine paralegal writing tasks can be time-consuming and you can get stuck in paperwork.

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