Paralegals, Legal Assistants and Secretaries Entitled to Overtime

A paralegal helps lawyers prepare for closings, hearings, trials and corporate meetings; investigates the facts of cases and ensures that all relevant information is considered; identifies appropriate laws, judicial decisions, legal articles and other materials that are relevant to assigned cases; and may prepare written reports that attorneys use in determining how cases should be handled. A legal assistant/secretary’s duties may include editing and processing formal legal documents, taking down dictation, longhand notes or oral instruction, filing papers with the court or government agencies, corresponding with clients and keeping track of actions already taken, deadlines of future filing and scheduled court appearances. Paralegals and legal assistants/secretaries are generally entitled to overtime as they do not fall within the exemption for professional employees. To be exempt from overtime, an employee’s primary duty must be the performance of work requiring advanced knowledge, which must be acquired through a prolonged course of instruction.

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