Code Of Ethics and Professional Responsibility
In fulfilling the professional responsibilities of a paralegal, the consequent obligations of every paralegal is to maintain the highest standards of ethical conduct and personal integrity. Fundamental ethical principles are necessary to assist and guide the paralegal in the performance of the duties and responsibilities of the legal profession.
The canons of ethics set forth hereafter include statements which express, in general terms, the standards of professional conduct expected of members of the St. Louis Paralegal Associations in their relationship with the public, the legal system and the legal profession.
A paralegal should exercise the highest degree of competence and integrity of the legal profession, avoiding even the
appearance of professional impropriety.
A paralegal should assist the legal profession under the supervision of a licensed lawyer, who maintains complete
responsibility to the client and for the work product, but shall not perform duties only a licensed lawyer may perform.
A paralegal should not give legal advice that would constitute the practice of law by a non-lawyer but should assist
the legal profession in making legal counsel available.
A paralegal should exercise great care and prudence in determining the extent to which a client may be assisted
without the presence of a licensed lawyer.
A paralegal should not engage in unauthorized practice of law and shall assist in preventing the unauthorized practice
A paralegal should protect and preserve the confidence of a client and shall not endanger, in any manner, the client-
lawyer fiduciary relationship.
A paralegal should not mislead the public, either by omission or commission, as to his or her legal status or position.
A paralegal should strive for perfection through education and, working under the direct supervision of a licensed
lawyer, to better assist in improving legal services.
A paralegal should do all things incidental, necessary or expedient for the attainment of the ethics and responsibilities
imposed by statute, rules of court or the American Bar Association.
(Adopted Januar y 14, 1980)