A legal research assistant is a little different from a paralegal, which is a person who works at an entry level in a lawyer’s office. A legal research assistant is a person who needs to know a lot about the law, or at least some branches of the law, but does not do any actual legal work. He or she is not a lawyer but carries out research on which the paralegal will work, and then the lawyer.
As a legal research assistant, you will be asked to work on either one or several cases. As an example, let’s take one case. Each case will involve at least two parties. The lawyer you work for will represent one of them. It will be up to you to gather information about the other party.
You will get the information you need from libraries, word of mouth, and documents. This job can be a very exciting one because it might involve some detective work! You might have to go and see people, dig into old records and new ones, and be an altogether Sherlock Holmes kind of person to find out everything that your boss, the lawyer wants to know!
In most offices a legal research assistant works as part of a team, with other legal research assistants, paralegals, and lawyers. He or she works on planning, research, and investigation.
• Lead a team of legal research assistants and paralegals in conducting research into all cases being worked on by the law firm
• In collaboration with other team members, evaluate and then monitor settlement implementation
• When there is a cross-county implementation, monitor data from all involved counties and analyze it
• Monitor progress of all counties and report to lawyer
• Work with lawyers and paralegals to identify insufficiencies in data and resolve them
• Assist lawyers in assessing the impact of the settlements
• Help in developing plans according to the settlement agreement
• Conduct literature review of legal services with the aim of upgrading them
• Write and present daily reports of implementations, as well as weekly research reports
• Monitor team progress, aiming at best possible research support for all cases being undertaken by the law firm
• Monitor the preparation of background supporting materials such as presentations and reports
• Make suggestions and recommendations to higher management for improving monitoring and reporting of progress