para·​le·​gal | \ ˌper-ə-ˈlē-gəl How to pronounce paralegal (audio) , ˌpa-rə- \

Definition of paralegal

: of, relating to, or being a paraprofessional who assists a lawyer

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Other Words from paralegal

paralegal \ ˈper-​ə-​ˌlē-​gəl How to pronounce paralegal (audio) , ˈpa-​rə-​ \ noun

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Much of the work in a law office can be done by paralegal assistants, also called legal aides or simply paralegals, who work alongside licensed lawyers. Often a paralegal is trained in a narrow field and then entrusted with it. In this respect, paralegals are similar to paraprofessionals in other fields, such as engineering. Paraprofessionals used to be trained in the office itself, but today it's common to study for a paraprofessional certificate or degree at a community college or university.

Examples of paralegal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For starters, when the phone rings one of three people - Andy, Bryn or their paralegal Racheal Gilbert - will answer it. Georgann Yara, The Arizona Republic, 14 Oct. 2021 Hammad, a paralegal and administrative assistant for the Cleveland chapter of the Council on American Islamic-Relations, had a basic understanding of her religion at the time. Alexis Oatman, cleveland, 9 Sep. 2021 So Abrams hacked the system by creating a paralegal training program that allowed the secretaries not only to boost their education and résumés, but also to become eligible for higher salaries. Brooke Baldwin, Fortune, 12 June 2021 Shanette Joyner, 49, of Alexandria, Virginia, is a paralegal contractor for a federal agency who has worked from home since the start of the outbreak and wants to continue doing so three days a week. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, 19 May 2021 Longtime Ariete customer Adrian Acosta describes one of his favorite waitresses who peeled off to go to paralegal school. Washington Post, 8 May 2021 Madden became a Southwest flight attendant at age 64 after several other careers, including real estate and paralegal services. Dawn Gilbertson, USA TODAY, 28 Apr. 2021 Jennifer Loya began working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Antonio as a legal assistant in 2017, and was promoted to paralegal specialist in February 2020. Guillermo Contreras, San Antonio Express-News, 20 Apr. 2021 Camara is a paralegal and mitigation specialist, working at a San Antonio law firm. Vincent T. Davis, San Antonio Express-News, 1 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'paralegal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of paralegal

1966, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of paralegal was in 1966

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Last Updated

17 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Paralegal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for paralegal


para·​le·​gal | \ ˌpar-ə-ˈlē-gəl How to pronounce paralegal (audio) \

Legal Definition of paralegal

: of, relating to, or being a paraprofessional who assists a lawyer — compare clerk sense 2b

Other Words from paralegal

paralegal noun

More from Merriam-Webster on paralegal

Nglish: Translation of paralegal for Spanish Speakers


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