Legal 298 Capstone
Module 1 Homework
May 3, 2013
In a Civil Litigation course I was enrolled in while at Heald I was assigned a case with a group of fellow classmates. We were given the task of interviewing the client and witnesses relevant to the case, conduct appropriate research (fact finding, case law, statues and codes), and create pleadings, subpoenas, and any other corresponding tasks that a paralegal would normally experience in their daily activities while working with a law firm. The group asked if I would act as project manager, or in this case, the supervising attorney, to which I accepted. I delegated tasks of research, interviewing, and writing to my peers based on their strengths and weaknesses. For the sake of this project, I wanted to bring my classmates out of their comfort zone so that they could gain experience in areas they were unfamiliar. I remember I had a classmate that was Russian and English was her second language, so naturally I assigned her to interviewing the client and relevant witnesses. In the real world, I am not sure that this would be a very smart idea because of the language barrier, however to be an effective interviewer, a paralegal needs to be able to speak clearly and be understood unmistakably. There was another student who had never researched case law and statues, so naturally I assigned him this task. Another classmate in my group had noted he had little experience in writing anything a paralegal would normally see in the daily routine. So what did he end up with? Drafting documents of course! It seems silly, however paralegals need to be versed in all faucets of the career field, not just what they feel confident in doing, or the attorney would hire someone who was.
Paralegals must become proficient at Internet research and legal research databases such Westlaw and Lexis/Nexis. Paralegals must also learn to analyze case facts and properly cite legal authority. In the case that we were assigned,...