What is Civil Litigation from a Paralegal Point of View?

There are many different types of law. If you're drawn to the legal profession, it's important to understand all the options available to you. Not all court proceedings are dramatic criminal affairs like you might see on television. If you're interested in pursuing a career in law outside the criminal sphere, you may be interested in exploring civil litigation. Careers in civil litigation range from lawyers to paralegals to investigators so there is something for every educational level. Paralegals can specialize in civil litigationso this is an area that you may want to consider.

What is Civil Litigation

Civil litigation is a term that applies to any legal dispute where two or more parties are seeking monetary damages or a specific performance. There are many different types of civil litigation. This type of dispute may arise over:

  • Product liability
  • Construction liability
  • Medical malpractice
  • Personal injury
  • Real estate disputes
  • Workers' compensation claims
  • Divorce
  • Intellectual property disputes
  • Anti-trust litigation

In the broadest sense, civil litigation is any legal proceeding that does not involve criminal charges or penalties.

What Does a Civil Litigator Do?

A civil litigator, also referred to as a trial lawyer or litigator, represents clients who are involved in civil disputes. These litigators will typically specialize in a particular area, such as divorce law or medical malpractice suits. This allows them to have a more detailed knowledge of their practice area. Civil litigation law is incredible broad, so it's helpful to keep a focus on just a few areas rather than attempting to represent them all.

A civil litigator's daily duties might include interviewing clients, drafting formal complaints or claims, conducting depositions, and drafting motions. Civil litigators must determine the best trial strategy for each case. This might include mediation to attempt to settle the case out of court. Trial lawyers may also need to take their cases to court. In these cases, their responsibilities will include jury selection and court appearances.

What is a Civil Litigation Paralegal?

Civil litigation paralegals perform many of the same tasks as litigators, but they can't actually practice law. Even so, their duties are interesting and require legal expertise.

What Does a Civil Litigation Paralegal Do?

Litigation paralegals are essential to the civil litigation process. They handle many of the critical details and research-heavy duties that are required for a successful case. Along with all the duties expected of a paralegal in general, common duties in a civil law practice include:

  • Assisting with interviews
  • Preparing legal documents
  • Obtaining copies of police reports, investigation files, and coroner's findings
  • Managing schedules for clients and lawyers
  • Drafting pre-trial disclosures
  • Attending trials and taking notes
  • Assisting with jury selection

While civil litigation can be a complex field, it's an exciting career choice for job seekers who enjoy the thrill of tracking down facts, pinpointing loopholes, and dealing with debates.

As you can see, this job requires you to work closely with civil litigation lawyers. If you're considering law school in the future, this is also a great way to get a look at the day-to-day workings of a civil law office. The American Bar Association has resources available for people interested in a career in litigation.

Click here for more information on paralegal educational opportunities at Bryant and Stratton College or call the Admissions office at 1.888.273.2758.