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Speech 03: Applied Presentation with PowerPoint & Question/Answer Session

Anna Koudriachova
Submitted to Professor Sarah Billington
COMM 1020-F15
Speech 3: Applied Speech with PowerPoint and Q&A Sessions
November 3, 2015
Applied Speech: Audience Assessment
Specific Goal: The role that paralegals play in a law firm.
Application: To high school students deciding what degree to get in college.
Ethos: Primary Ethos: I have a law clerk degree from Canada and currently working on getting the Paralegal
degree in SLCC.
Secondary Ethos: I will at least 4 sources.
Audience Assessment: The audience will have at least some knowledge of paralegals because most of us have
had to deal with lawyers at some point of our lives.
Adaptation to Audience: I will clearly state what paralegals can and cannot do and the difference between
paralegals and legal document assistants.
Pattern of Organization: Topical pattern.
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Applied Speech: Key-Word Outline
ROLE OF PARALEGALS IN LAW FIRMS
Introduction:
Hook: Who are paralegals and what role do they play in law firm? The National Association of Legal
Assistants defines legal assistants, also known as paralegals, as 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. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of
paralegals and legal assistants is projected to grow by 17% between 2012 and 2022 which is
faster than the average for all occupations.
Thesis: A crucial part of the attorney's success is his or her paralegal.
Preview:
1. May perform many of the same duties as an attorney
2. Strict guidelines that govern what a paralegal can and cannot do
3. There is a possibility of an independent career as a legal document assistant

Transition: So, what can a paralegal do?


Body:
I.

The paralegal division of the Utah State Bar, which was established in 1996 by the Utah Supreme Court,
sets out some guidelines for utilizing paralegals.
A.

Many aspects of the legal process


i. investigating the facts of a case, research of relevant laws, maintaining information related to
cases or transactions, drafting correspondence and legal documents for review by and
signature of the attorney, helping attorneys prepare for hearings, trials and corporate
meetings, conducting client interviews and maintaining general contact with the client after
establishment of attorney-client relationship

B.

It is important for an attorney to utilize his or her paralegal properly because, according to the
American Bar Association, a paralegal can improve a law practice by:
i. reducing costs
ii. charging less legal fees to clients
a. paralegal time billed out separately and at lower rate
iii. increased contact with clients

Transition: While the number of tasks a paralegal may perform under supervision of an attorney is almost
limitless, there are some very important limitations that must be followed in order to avoid unauthorized
practice of law.
II.

According Utah court rules governing the Utah State Bar, only persons who are active, licensed
members of the Bar, in good standing, may engage in the practice of law in Utah.
A.

Practice of Law
i. representation of interests of another person
a. informing
b. counseling
c. advising
d. assisting
e. advocating for or drafting documents
f. person's facts and circumstances
ii. Model Standards and Guidelines for Utilization of Paralegals
a. Paralegals cannot:
a. establish attorney-client relationship
b. set legal fees
c. give legal opinions or advice
d. represent a client before a court, unless authorized
e. engage in, encourage or contribute to any act which could constitute the
unauthorized practice of law
iii. Attorney responsible
a. For paralegals work
b. Ethical conduct

B.

Attorney can be found to have aided in the unauthorized practice of law


i. Delegating acts that cant be performed by paralegal

Transition: I have tried to make it very clear that paralegals must perform legal work under the supervision of an
attorney, but can an individual with some legal education establish an independent business and provide nonattorney services to the public?
III.

An individual with some legal education can work without an attorneys supervision as a Legal
document preparer, also known as legal document assistant.

IV.
A.

B.

Difference between paralegal and LDA


i. Paralegal
a. Works for and is supervised by attorney
b. Cannot do work for general public on their own
c. Cannot accept fees for services
d. Cannot independently prepare legal documents
ii. LDA
a. Authorized to prepare legal documents for public
b. Former paralegals who branched out
c. Work with general public simultaneously providing services for attorneys
d. Registered and bonded
e. According to Arizona Legal Document Services LLC
iii. LDA cannot
a. Represent you in court
b. Provide legal advice
c. Tell you information to place in legal documents
d. Select forms for you
Benefit of LDA
i. Cost
ii. Provide assistance
Conclusion:

To conclude, paralegals can be an essential part of a law practice. Through knowledge and expertise regarding
the legal system, paralegals can help reduce the firms and the clients costs and establish a personal relationship
with clients. Paralegals are often thought of as being the first line of defense when dealing with client matters,
and their demeanor with clients will often reflect the treatment they receive from the attorneys they work for. It
is also worth looking into getting a paralegal degree because an individual with this degree can branch out and
work for themselves.
Works Cited:
"InformationforLawyers:HowParalegalsCanImproveYourPractice." AmericanBarAssociation,5Sept.
2013.
"ModelStandards."NationalAssociationofLegalAssistants,2007.
"Guidelines for the Utilization of Paralegals." Paralegal Division of the Utah State Bar,
<http://paralegals.utahbar.org/index.php/Utilization_Guidelines>.

"Rule 14802. Authorization to Practice Law."


Utah State
<https://www.utcourts.gov/resources/rules/ucja/ch14/08%20Special%20Practice/USB14802.html>.

Court,

PowerPoint display:
You are required to create and display a PowerPoint show to accompany your Applied Speech. Include a copy
of your slides when you submit your outline.
Prepare to Answer Questions
1. You may be asking yourself what kind of penalty may be imposed on an attorney for misconduct of his
or her paralegal.
2. What are the certification procedures for a legal document assistant in Utah?