Purpose of MPA

MPA was founded in 1980 by paralegals/legal assistants in Mississippi who wished to encourage a high order of ethical and professional attainment. The main purpose of MPA is to promote the profession of the legal assistant or paralegal. MPA supports, encourages and maintains high standards for the service, conduct and ethics of paralegal/legal assistants. MPA members have the opportunity to further their education through MPA sponsored meetings and seminars. Members are also able to maintain a close tie with county, state and national bar associations as well as with other members of the legal community.  MPA is kept abreast of national affairs and news through their affiliation with the National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc.

What is a Paralegal/Legal Assistant?

At the August 1997 ABA Annual Meeting, the ABA’s policy making body, the , adopted the current definition of “legal assistant/paralegal”, as recommended by the standing Committee on Legal Assistants. The current definition reads 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.

The current definition of “legal assistant/paralegal” replaces the definition adopted by the ABA in 1986. It adds the term “paralegal,” since the terms “legal assistant” and “paralegal” are, in practice, used interchangeably. The term that is preferred generally depends on what part of the country one is from. The current definition streamlines the 1986 definition and more accurately reflects how legal assistants are presently being utilized in the delivery of legal services.



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