In my experience, paralegal careers are often overlooked and left largely unexplained to the general public. In fact, this morning over breakfast, I learned that my boyfriend has absolutely no idea what I do all day.
When I sat down at my computer later that day, I decided to check out what information is available about paralegals. As I quickly learned, there isn't a lot, and there's even less Canadian content.
However, this article, by Rosemary Counter published in MacLean's this month, shone some light on the somewhat ignored profession (and in Canada, to boot)!
In my opinion, this is a decent overview of what the paralegal profession is. Counter quotes the president of the Alberta Association of Professional Paralegals who indicates that a paralegal is often responsible for "interview[ing] clients, draft[ing] legal documents, review[ing] and summariz[ing] documents and transcripts." I would add that paralegals are also responsible for legal research, quantum assessments of damages, and lots of legal writing.
Counter concludes that a paralegal profession is a good fit "for those who love work-life balance as much as they love law." I really like this description, probably because it resonates so much with me.
Careers and the law are such hot topics these days, but paralegals are rarely mentioned, so it's nice to see the paralegal profession getting some recognition in the mainstream media.