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Math used by paralegals ranges from simple to complex, but it is used in every practice area. Here are some examples of where math and the law cross paths.
Family law paralegals may be responsible for determining spousal support requirements and calculating child support, analyzing retirement benefits and how they can be divided, arranging for appraisals of property, drafting property settlement agreements and drafting discovery requests for information relating to assets, income and liabilities.
There are many types of litigation; all involve calculating due dates and statutes of limitation. Litigation paralegals may also be responsible for calculating economic damages; preparing, maintaining and updating damage summaries; and preparing settlement calculations.
Probate and Estate Administration
Probate paralegals perform trust accounting, draft tax returns, distribute trust assets, maintain financial records, prepare accountings, evaluate assets, draft distribution schedules and coordinate or direct the distribution of assets.
Real estate paralegals may prorate taxes and utilities, obtain closing figures from bank and prorate closing costs, and perform financial calculations, including amortization, annual percentage rate, discounting and net present value.
Other Practice Areas
Bankruptcy paralegals draft financial statements and reports. Employee benefits paralegals calculate employer contributions and forfeitures and allocate them to participant accounts. Tax paralegals calculate interest and penalties. Workers compensation paralegals calculate average wages and benefits.
Margaret Lucas Agius, a NALA Certified Paralegal, has been writing for and about the legal profession for more than a decade. Her articles have appeared in the "Michigan Bar Journal," the "Michigan Paralegal" and "Facts & Findings." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from the University of Detroit Mercy and a Bachelor of Science in paralegal studies from Madonna University.