Why Can’t a Paralegal Give Legal Advice?

Sarah Ouellette, Paralegal

Sarah Ouellette, Paralegal

When you contact Morneau Law, a Paralegal will be answering your call.  You may ask a legal question, but you’re told the Paralegal cannot give you legal advice.  Why is this?  The main reason a Paralegal can’t answer your legal question is because of Rule 5.3 of the New Hampshire Supreme Court Rules of Professional Conduct.  Only a licensed Attorney may dispense legal advice.  It is considered unauthorized practice of law for a Paralegal to give legal advice.

What Constitutes as Legal Advice?

After a couple of months of working at Morneau Law, I have come across some commonly asked questions.  Some questions are as follows: “Am I allowed to…”, or “What should I do…”.  In both instances, the Client is asking for legal advice.  A Paralegal can’t answer these strategic legal questions for Clients.  We can get the answers from the Attorney’s though and let the Clients know the answer.  

Benefits of Speaking to a Paralegal

Paralegals have a very important role within the law firm. Even though we are not able to give legal advice, we still take on many tasks to help support the firm.  A Paralegal is able to pass all of your questions on to the Attorney in order to help provide you with the information you need.  This is beneficial to the Client, because Paralegal’s are more cost effective than an Attorney.  We are often able to get back to you faster than the Attorney.

At our firm, the Paralegals are not delegated to a specific Attorney.  This is because our office takes on a team approach when working on all cases.  Paralegals are one of the main sources of communication when contacting the firm, and it’s very important to remember that all information given to the Paralegal, is relayed immediately to the Attorney.

Paralegals play an important role on our team and are happy to help you set up a consultation with one of our Attorneys to help with your family law needs, estate planning or estate administration.  We serve the Greater Nashua area.

If you are in need of a divorce and would like to meet with one of our experienced attorneys, please click here to contact us or call us today at (603) 943-5647.