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n. a non-lawyer who performs routine tasks requiring some knowledge of the law and procedures, employed by a law office or who works free-lance as an independent for various lawyers. Usually paralegals have taken a prescribed series of courses in law and legal processes, which is much less demanding than those required for a licensed attorney. Paralegals are increasingly popular, often handling much of the paper work in probates of estates, divorce actions, bankruptcies, investigations, analyzing depositions, preparing and answering interrogatories, procedural motions and other specialized jobs. Clients should be sure that the hourly rate charged for paralegals is much less than that for the attorneys.