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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a paralegal?

NALA: The Paralegal Association (“NALA”) adopted the following definition in 1986:
A legal assistant or paralegal is a person qualified by education, training or work experience, employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, governmental agency or other entity, and performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which the lawyer is responsible.

The American Bar Association (“ABA”) adopted the following definition in 1997:
Legal assistants, also known as paralegals, are a distinguishable group of persons who assist attorneys in the delivery of legal services. Through formal education, training and experience, legal assistants have knowledge and expertise regarding the legal system and substantive and procedural law, which qualify them to do work of a legal nature under the supervision of an attorney.

What does a paralegal do?

Tasks that may be performed by a paralegal include (but are not limited to):

  1. Legal Research
  2. Initial Client Interviews
  3. Drafting Legal Documents
  4. Make recommendations to the supervising attorney from the information they have collected
  5. Calendaring important dockets and deadlines

What may a paralegal not do?

As a paralegal you are prohibited from:

  1. Giving any type of legal advice
  2. Representing a client in a court of law
  3. Recommending the use of any type of legal document to any other person besides a supervising attorney
  4. Establish fees to charge for legal services

If there is a question about what you can and cannot do as a paralegal it is best to consult with your supervising attorney for more direction.

What Nebraska schools offer paralegal programs?

There are numerous schools in Nebraska that offer paralegal studies programs. For more information about these schools please visit the respective website.

* Central Community College (located in Grand Island)
www.cccneb.edu

* College of St. Mary (ABA approved)
www.csm.edu

* Doane College (located in Crete, Lincoln and Grand Island)
www.doane.edu

* Kaplan University (offered online and campuses in Lincoln and Omaha)
www.kaplanuniversity.edu

* Metropolitan Community College (ABA Approved)
http://www.mccneb.edu/

If I obtain my bachelors degree or certificate from a college am I now a certified paralegal?

No, in order to be considered a certified paralegal you must successfully pass the CP exam that is administered by NALA throughout the year. For the most current information on the CP exam administered by NALA please go to their website at www.nala.org.

When are association luncheon meetings held and what is the cost?

For lunch, seminar and other event information we would direct you to our current event calendar. This is going to have the most current events taking place not only for NePA but also NALA upcoming events.

If I become a member of NePA am I automatically a member of NALA?

No, the two associations are different. However it is beneficial to join both associations, as the information that can be gathered from both is extraordinary.