Offering legal opinions or advice is an activity that constitute the practice of law. Clients come to lawyers because they need help with a legal problem. They expect that the advice they receive will come from someone with the training and expertise to provide that advice. Legal advice ordinarily deals with the consequences of a course of conduct and affects the client’s legal position or rights. It is the close working relationship between lawyers and paralegals that creates problems in this area.
A client who is aware of the relationship between the paralegal and the lawyer may rely on statements by the paralegal just as if they came from the lawyer. The client does not differentiate between a paralegal who is offering her own opinion and a paralegal who is relaying advice from the attorney to the client; to the client, it is all legal advice.
Using a jurisdiction, you are familiar with; discuss the role of a paralegal in the practice of law, their scope of practice and limitations. Be sure to discuss whether paralegal are authorized to give legal advice. Please refer to the rubric when completing the assignment.
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