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What to do if some areas of the world where you have lawyers have no paralegals

Working with a law department’s Latin American group, it became apparent that the continent has no paralegals as we recognize them in the United States. Instead, many of the lawyers, often paid minimal amounts by our standards, handle tasks that US paralegals would do. Or administrative staff, without specific legal training, step in. How can that law department build a paralegal layer?

One answer is to train people for paralegal-type roles where those positions do not now exist. The skills and career paths are well known, and there are training programs all over the US who could pitch in. (See my posts of March 18, 2005 about paralegals doing as much as lawyers, March 29, 2005 about international paralegals and metrics, June 28, 2005 about departments adding paralegals, June 28, 2005 about reporting lines of paralegals, and Aug. 26, 2005 about measuring delegation to paralegals.)

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