A Paralegal means a person who is doing procedural work related to some legal matter but is not a qualified legal practitioner in that jurisdiction.
A paralegal is similar to paramedics, appointed by the fire and rescue departments, who only administer first-aid, but do not prescribe medicines or carry out any major medical procedures. They do not have a license to practice and may be trainee doctors.
Examples of Para Legals:
- a law student who is interning with a law firm
- persons from NGO’s who visit jails, prepare bail applications and give legal advice on procedural matters to assist the undertrials in getting justice
- persons at IPR firms who do the drafting, filing and similar clerical work, not related to giving a legal opinion
Para Legals are also found at Lok Adalats. They assist the parties to comply with basic procedures and guide them as to the outcome and formalities required to settle the matter.
Paralegals are important parts of the justice system, as they take on the responsibility of handling the bulk of procedures.