Tips: Paralegal Top 20 Skills to Have


Maintains a professional demeanor. Performs a variety of administrative duties for attorneys according to established policies and procedures. Maintains positive contact with clients, attorneys and staff and observes confidentiality of client matters. Willing to accept firm policies and work within established parameters. Interacts with firm management, attorneys and other support staff personnel to help meet the goals of the firm.


1. Operates a computer, transcribes dictation (machine transcription and/or shorthand) and other office equipment as required.

2. Prepares correspondence, memoranda and other legal documents, drafts standard correspondence, memoranda and other documents utilizing ability to proofread for grammatical, typographical or spelling errors.

3. Receives and directs telephone calls from clients and other callers to appropriate person, taking messages if necessary.

4. Schedules appointments and maintains attorney calendar, if necessary; makes travel arrangements as necessary and gives a copy of travel schedule to receptionist for use when secretary is unavailable.

5. Greets clients and visitors; maintains good public relations with clients; observes confidentiality of attorney-client relationship; has the interpersonal skills necessary in order to communicate and follow instructions respectively from a diverse group of clients, attorneys and staff and provide public information with ordinary courtesy and tact.

6. Opens new files, requests conflict of interest checks and maintains all client and general files. Conducts periodic review for possible storage of older files; prepares files to be closed.

7. Assists attorney in preparing timesheets; maintains a copy for attorney.

8. Maintains a current version of attorney client list.

9. Demonstrates the ability to organize and prioritize numerous tasks and complete them under time constraints.

10. Under takes initiative to learn updated versions of existing computer software and/or new software as necessary for the efficient processing of firm related work.

11. Is expected to answering incoming telephone calls when the receptionist is unavailable.

12. Schedules services of court reporters, couriers, special transportation, etc.

13. Is knowledgeable of local court filing procedures.

14. Is responsible for set up and clean up of conference rooms for client meetings as well as reserving the conference rooms in advance.

15. Reads, sorts and date stamps incoming mail. Makes copy of original correspondence and pleadings before distribution and places in case correspondence and/or pleadings files.

16. Ensures that incoming mail is timely delivered to the appropriate person.

17. Is knowledgeable about the firm, its attorneys and areas of practice.

18. Acts as liaison between attorneys and clients, other attorneys/staff members in attorney’s absence.

19. Is resourceful – knows where and how to gather needed information.

20. Assists/seeks assistance for clients in attorney’s absence, if so required.

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