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Definitions

The definition of a paralegal (a/k/a legal assistant), as adopted by the American Bar Association (“ABA”) House of Delegates in August 1997, is:

A legal assistant or paralegal is a person, qualified by education, training or work experience, who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, governmental agency or other entity and who performs specifically-delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible.

Since 1986, the National Association of Legal Assistants (“NALA”) has defined the terms legal assistant and paralegals as follows:

Legal assistants, also known as paralegals, are 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.

Rule 20-2.1, Rules Regulating The Florida Bar

(a) Paralegal. A paralegal is a person with education, training or work experience, who works under the direction and supervision of a member of The Florida Bar and who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a member of The Florida Bar is responsible.

(b) Florida Registered Paralegal. A Florida Registered Paralegal is someone who meets the definition of paralegal and the requirements for registration as set forth elsewhere in these rules.

Section 57.104, Florida Statutes, states:

“Legal assistant” means a person, who under the supervision and direction of a licensed attorney engages in legal research, and case development or planning in relation to modifications or initial proceedings, services, processes, or applications; or who prepares or interprets legal documents or selects, compiles, and uses technical information from references such as digests, encyclopedias, or practice manuals and analyzes and follows procedural problems that involve independent decisions.