The terms “legal assistant” and “paralegal” are used interchangeably, much like the terms attorney and lawyer. The American Bar Association (ABA) does not distinguish between the paralegal vs. legal assistant positions.

The ABA defines both positions as follows: “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.”

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