Family law cases can be incredibly complex and emotionally charged, making them difficult to navigate for any client and his/her attorney. That’s where paralegals come in. Paralegals are a critical part of the concierge legal team. Paralegals are trained legal professionals who assist with a range of tasks related to family law cases, including drafting legal documents, conducting research, interviews, investigations, filing, legal service, analysis, as well as providing administrative support. With Lewellen | Strebe | Hopper paralegals, our clients have confidence that they are working with knowledgeable and skilled paralegals under the supervision of senior family law attorneys. This is superior to document preparers who only prepare documents based on the information provided to them, with no skilled insight into pitfalls and legal mistakes that can be costly for a family.
At Lewellen | Strebe | Hopper Family Law Group, we’ve invested in experienced family law paralegals at our Bay Area and Sacramento offices.
The difference between paraprofessionals and paralegals is that paraprofessionals will be licensed to practice without attorney supervision. The key words there are “without attorney supervision.” Currently, if a paralegal were to provide legal advice on any subject matter, they are committing the unauthorized practice of law and can be fined or convicted of a misdemeanor.
A legal paraprofessional is to a lawyer as a nurse practitioner is to a doctor: a legal paraprofessional is a licensed and regulated professional who can provide legal advice and representation within the authorized practice area in which they are licensed, with a designated scope of practice for each practice area. They are different from paralegals because they will be licensed to practice without attorney supervision. A paraprofessional will be able to provide legal advice and, in some instances, represent parties in court within the practice area in which they are licensed. They will not be able to represent parties in jury trials. California does not currently have paraprofessional licensing for family law paralegals.
The California State Bar currently has before it a proposal to license legal paraprofessionals (paralegals, legal document assistants, and unlicensed J.D. and L.L.M. holders) to provide legal advice and, in limited instances, represent parties in court. Should it pass, this proposal could have a huge impact on providing legal resources to many Californians involved in a family law matter. The proposal states that the legal paraprofessional will be a licensed and regulated professional who can provide legal advice and representation within the authorized practice area in which they are licensed.
Lewellen | Strebe | Hopper is ahead of the competition by training and building a concierge team of paralegals who will become paraprofessionals with the support of the firm as soon as the proposal passes. Until then, our clients have the benefit of working with paralegals who are passionate about the service they provide to our clients under the supervision of attorneys.
Save money while ensuring your rights are protected. At Lewellen | Strebe | Hopper P.C., our experienced family law paralegals and attorneys are here to help you navigate your divorce case.
Overly Simple Forms Result In Loss Of Rights
California divorce forms are generally designed to be simple and straightforward to fill out to ensure that people can access the legal system and obtain a divorce without the need for an attorney if they choose not to hire one.
In California, divorce forms are available to the public and can be found online through the California Courts website. The forms are designed to be user-friendly, with clear instructions and prompts that guide individuals through the process of filling out the necessary paperwork.
However, the oversimplification of these forms can result in the loss of rights if not completed correctly.
Lewellen | Strebe | Hopper Family Law Group assists multiple clients who’ve attempted to save money by hiring legal assistants or document preparers, only to find mistakes and lack of attention to substantive rights as a result. Often these clients find errors and omissions in prepared documents that only an experienced paralegal and the attorneys at our law practice could identify. Have your documents prepared and presented to the Court correctly at the outset because failing to do so could be costly or inadvertently result in waivers of rights.
Cost-Effective Family Law Advice
One of the main benefits of hiring a paralegal is that it can be a cost-effective solution for your legal needs. Even experienced paralegals charge less than attorneys, but they are still able to provide valuable legal services.
A paralegal can provide most legal services under the supervision of an attorney. At Lewellen | Strebe | Hopper, the partners have invested in experienced family law paralegals to assist each family law attorney.
Knowledge, Time, And Cost Savings
Paralegals have extensive knowledge and expertise in the legal field, particularly when it comes to family law. They are trained to understand legal terminology and procedures, which means they can provide valuable support throughout your case. Additionally, paralegals often specialize in specific areas of law, which means they have a deeper understanding of the intricacies of family law cases.
By hiring a law firm that leverages experienced paralegals, your attorney can save time on tasks like researching case law, drafting legal documents, and communicating with the court. This can allow your attorney to focus on other important aspects of your case, like preparing for hearings or negotiating with the other party.
Experience In Legal Document Preparation & Court Procedures
Preparing legal documents is a critical part of any family law case. Whether you are filing for divorce or seeking custody of your children, you will need to draft legal documents that accurately reflect your position.
An experienced family law paralegal, like those at Lewellen | Strebe | Hopper, understands the writing style of the attorneys they work for, meaning when they conduct legal research and draft documents, it’s in a similar fashion to the specific attorneys. They are able to draw from their experience with their attorneys and use that institutional knowledge of family law to bring cost savings to the client.
Paralegals are a part of your family law case from start to finish, providing consistency along with substantive legal work. Paralegals can provide most legal services with the supervision of an attorney, with the exception of attending court and providing legal advice.
Situational Guidance & Negotiate Support
Family law cases can be emotionally charged, which can make it difficult to make rational decisions.
If you are negotiating a settlement or working with the other party to resolve your case, a paralegal can provide valuable support. Paralegals can help you prepare for negotiations by conducting research and analyzing the proposals with data-driven scrutiny for the attorneys and client. Additionally, paralegals can assist with communication and correspondence with the other party, which can help keep negotiations on track.
Family Law Services Provided by Lewellen | Strebe | Hopper P.C.
Our law firm provides our clients with an exceptional depth of experience handling divorce cases involving a wide range of legal issues, including:
- Child Custody
- Child Support
- Domestic violence restraining orders
- Division of property
- International or out-of-state removal of minor children
- Spousal support