Seems like a good article to put here....right after that "lawyers resolve paralegal priorities among yourselves" post:
"Paralegals have been part of the legal profession for roughly 30 years. When utilized correctly [PDF], they are a significant benefit to a law firm or law department and its clients because they are able to handle both routine and sophisticated legal tasks that do not require a lawyer but cannot be performed by secretaries or other administrative personnel who lack the time, skills or education.
"Failure to utilize paralegals effectively results in a host of problems for a law firm or a law department - and for the paralegals themselves. The results of a recent survey (August 2005) by the Committee on Paralegals of the Business Law Section of the American Bar Association is consistent with the experience the author has had training and working with paralegals and in consulting with law firms and departments about how to improve paralegal utilization."