The Bankruptcy Paralegal specializes as an assistant to a bankruptcy attorney. They are also known as legal assistants.
Duties and responsibilities of a paralegal or legal assistant
They have to be well-versed in every aspect that is relevant to bankruptcy law. They are trained to do many of the tasks which lawyers themselves would normally perform, including:
- Investigation. The bankruptcy paralegal normally works with the debtor and attorney by investigating all the said debts involved with the case. This could mean evaluating credit reports, finding the necessary information about transactions, loans, and debts owed, speaking with creditors, etc.
- Serving and Notifying. The assistant is accountable in making sure that all creditors are notified of bankruptcy proceedings, hearings, and court dates. He also makes sure that any garnishment orders are served and creditors are aware of the actions to prevent them from taking further actions to collect the debts owed.
- Setting up the Documents. He set up the hearings, make notations of the interviews and investigative procedure, speaking with the creditors and recording and preparing all documents that may be included.
Education and Training
Bankruptcy Paralegal education and training covers a broad range of programs, certificates and degrees. Formal education must complete a two year in paralegal studies and a four year college degree, and even master’s degrees. Areas of study include legal office procedures, legal writing and research, bankruptcy procedures, probate, trusts and wills, family law, real estate practices and criminal law. Some paralegals choose to specialize in one area of practice.
In addition to being trained in various practice areas, they are also employed in a variety of settings. The most common employment setting is a law firm. Paralegals are employed in firms ranging in size from sole practitioners to firms with a global presence. Also employing paralegal services are corporations with in-house legal departments.
Skills and Responsibilities
Paralegals need a number of skills. First, they must be able to write well, because much of the work they do is written. Grammar, vocabulary, punctuation are all important. They must have research, computer skills and know the proper way to make citations for references cited. Also, he must possess great communication ethics and tact, and basic secretarial knowledge. They should be self-motivated, because they often must complete certain parts of a project on their own. And because they often work with the public, paralegals should have good people skills.
Moreover, they must possess initial knowledge of the different types of bankruptcies and everything that is included in the specific niche. However, some attorneys will train and hire a candidate with the right experience and potential.