This video discusses legal assistance and explains the differences between a paralegal and a legal assistant. Many individuals use these terms interchangeably, but they are quite different. A paralegal has several skills that legal assistants don’t, and that’s why there needs to be a clear differentiation between them.
Legal assistants are excellent individuals with many skills, but they don’t have the same skill set as paralegals.
The six skills prevalent among paralegals and legal assistants are communication, research, writing, organization, technical, and confidentiality. Both parties use their communication skills to communicate with lawyers, customers, clients, and the like. A paralegal will have more contact with the clients about the actual litigation, however. A legal assistant might contact the client to set up an appointment, but this person would not work on the case with the client or help the client strategize. That’s more of a paralegal’s job, and it’s one of the main differences between the two.
Another way to think about a paralegal and a legal assistant is to view the legal assistant as the paralegal’s helper and the paralegal as the attorney’s helper. By doing that, you can understand that the paralegal has much greater responsibilities than a legal assistant has.