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There are many different litigation jobs. Obvious jobs include litigation attorneys, paralegals, and secretaries. Some litigation departments have case assistants and nurses filling litigation jobs, as well. Each person works individually on her specific job duties, but may also work with the others to ensure that all aspects of a legal case are covered.
An attorney has one of the most well-known litigation jobs. An attorney may be a new graduate, a senior partner with many years of experience, or she may fall somewhere in the middle of the two. She may be considered special council as well, and only be contacted for specialized cases related to her area of expertise. In general, an attorney is responsible for preparing a case and presenting the case before a judge or a jury in trial. She must understand the issues of the case, know the laws associated with those issues, and be able to apply the laws so that the issues are presented in a way that is favorable to her client.
Many attorneys have at least one paralegal or legal assistant, making these common litigation jobs as well. Generally, the paralegal will be responsible for case organization. For example, she may manage litigation databases, draft documents, and schedule depositions for an attorney. In some cases, she may prepare and organize exhibits and other documents in preparation for trial. Paralegals must work hand-in-hand with an attorney, causing some people to believe that it is one of the most stressful litigation jobs.
A legal secretary is one of the main litigation jobs that is designed to support one or more attorneys and, possibly, their paralegals. A legal secretary may be responsible for typing documents, dictation and even filing documents electronically with the court. In addition, she may have continuous communication with clients, witnesses, and other people who work during the preparation for trial. If other members of the litigation department must travel for work, she also may be responsible for making and communicating travel arrangements.
A litigation case assistant is one of the most detail-oriented litigation jobs. The case assistant works with all levels of litigation employees, from the attorneys to the legal secretaries. She may be responsible for all aspects of case management, under the supervision of the lawyer or paralegal. These duties may include coding documents, creating document databases, working with vendors, and organizing documents for production to opposing parties or the court. In addition, she may attend trial and work with the litigation team to manage exhibits.
If a litigation team is focused on medical issues, such as found in personal injury lawsuits, a legal nurse may have one of the litigation jobs as well. A legal nurse may review medical records and identify legal issues that arise. She may help the attorney understand medical issues or work to help a paralegal make accurate demonstratives for trial.