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At the February 2020 Midyear meeting of the American Bar Association, the House of Delegates, the ABA's policy making body, adopted the current definition of paralegal, as recommended by the Standing Committee on Paralegals. The current definition now reads:

A 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.

This definition replaces the definition adopted by the House of Delegates in 1997. This updated definition removes the term "legal assistant" in order to reflect terminology that more accurately represents the type of substantive work that paralegals perform.

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.

Florida Statute 57.104 . . . For purposes of this section “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.