We asked eleven attorneys from across the nation if paralegals can represent their clients in the courtroom. All of the attorneys said a legal staff member cannot represent their clients in the courtroom. In some countries they have made recent strides in allowing paralegals to represent clients in court, however, they are not currently permitted to represent their clients in the U.S.
In New Jersey a paralegal can absolutely not represent a client in the courtroom. They can be present to assist a licensed attorney. But they cannot engage activities such as questioning witnesses, providing opening/closing statements, making objections, etc. While paralegals provide a very important function in the practice of law, in New Jersey, the only people allowed to address the Court are attorneys.
Erik Anderson, Esq.
REARDON ANDERSON, LLC
No, paralegals are not licensed to practice law and cannot represent a client in court. The exception might be a law student later in his or her law career, who can get an intern's license and represent clients on certain minor cases.
Matthew C. Bangerter
Attorney and Counselor at Law
Interesting question, but I am pretty sure the answer is NO. Otherwise it would be the unauthorized practice of law. Really depends on how you define 'represent.
Jared A. Jacobson
Jared Jacobson Law, LLC
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