The Difference Between a Remote Paralegal and Legal Assistant in the Philippines

Remote Paralegal, Remote Legal Assistant Philippines

The lines between a remote paralegal and a remote legal assistant in the Philippines often tends to be blurred, as they can perform similar roles. There is a distinct difference in these roles however, with paralegals being more focused on legal tasks and legal assistants on more administrative tasks. Each performs many of the tasks that a lawyer would have to undertake if they worked alone, but neither can practice law, provide legal advice to clients or sign legal documents. So what are the real differences between a remote paralegal and a remote legal assistant and which is best for your company’s needs?

Remote paralegal vs remote legal assistant

If you’re expanding your practice or legal department, you might need more lawyers, but you will definitely need more people to help your lawyers perform their work. This is where paralegals and legal assistants come into the picture, because they support the work performed by your lawyers. 

For example, you would engage a remote paralegal because your lawyer needs a significant amount of help with their legal work. Even though paralegals have the qualifications and experience to perform some legal work, they must operate under the supervision of a lawyer. On the other hand, if you need more administrative support for your lawyers and paralegals, you would employ a remote legal assistant

To be a paralegal in the Philippines requires the completion of a bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies, law, political science or similar qualification. To become a legal assistant doesn’t require any qualifications, although degrees are looked on favourably, and skills such as word processing and filing are usually necessary. 

Some of the duties performed by a remote legal assistant are as follows: preparing case studies and pleadings, organising materials for case reviews, drafting and proofreading agreements and other legal forms, scheduling appointments, updating calendars, establishing and organising files, communicating with clients, managing invoices and billing clients. 

In comparison, many of the duties performed by a remote paralegal are those that would be performed by a junior lawyer under the guidance of a senior lawyer. These can include planning, developing and managing cases, legal research, drafting legal correspondence and pleadings, conferencing with clients, analysing and summarising documents, preparing for and assisting at trials, and locating and interviewing witnesses. From these two descriptions, the difference between these two roles is clearly obvious; legal assistants have a more administrative focus, whilst paralegals have a more legal focus. 

The top skills needed by a remote paralegal include a sound knowledge of legal terminology, as well as an understanding of the Philippine’s legal procedures. Strong communication, research and organisational skills are also required. A remote legal assistant, however, usually requires communication, technical (word-processing, spreadsheets and invoicing), research, writing and organisational skills.

Paralegals and legal assistants are both crucial roles within a law practice or in-house legal department, however there’s a distinct difference in their qualifications, skill mix and pay scales in the Philippines. 

For more information on hiring a remote paralegal or remote legal assistant in the Philippines for your company, contact Outsourced today.


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