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Legal assistants are junior to paralegals

My post of Aug. 21, 2005 tried but did not come to terms with the difference between “paralegal” and “legal assistant.” Then I read in GC Mid-Atlantic, May 2006 at 6 that the law department of William Bertrand, the general counsel of MedImmune, consists of 11 staff lawyers, as well as legal assistants, paralegals, patent agents, and government affairs managers.” (emphasis supplied). Here is a law department with both titles.

Another law department that I know, which also bestows both titles, distinguishes them as follows. Legal assistants rank between secretaries and paralegals in terms of pay, responsibility, administrative support, and quality of work.

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