Dallas Area Paralegal Association Code of Ethics

Preamble and Statement

It is the responsibility of every member of this organization to abide by the ethical guidelines and standards of professional responsibility adopted by this Association and to adopt the principles of ethical and moral conduct established herein.

The Dallas Area Paralegal Association believes that fundamental to its success is the integrity of its members, and it is the objective of this Association to instill in its members a sense of responsibility for professional behavior by establishing guidelines in order to maintain the highest possible professional goals.

It is impossible to enumerate every conceivable act performed by paralegals in the course of discharging their duties, and these guidelines are not intended to be all-inclusive but to set forth policy in basic areas requiring sound judgment on the part of paralegals. A paralegal is a nonlawyer who has education or training in an area of the law and performs duties and functions often performed by lawyers. The paralegal is under the direct supervision of an attorney who is directly responsible to the client for the paralegal's work. In affirming this Code of Ethics, the paralegal is fully cognizant of the burden imposed upon him or her.

The Dallas Area Paralegal Association hereby adopts this Code of Ethics as a guideline for professional conduct and adopts and incorporates herein the Canons and Ethical Considerations of the American Bar Association and the State Bar of Texas insofar as they apply to paralegals, and, as an affiliate of the National Federation of Paralegal Associations, Inc. adopts its Affirmation of Responsibility.

CE 1. The paralegal is cognizant of the fact that he or she is not qualified or licensed to practice law and shall not attempt to give legal advice.

CE 2. The paralegal shall not publicly attempt to interpret the intent of a legislative body in its formulation of rules, regulations, and laws.

CE 3. The paralegal may perform any task delegated by the employer and supervised by the lawyer so long as the lawyer assumes responsibility for the paralegal's performance.

CE 4. The paralegal shall not, in the absence of the supervising lawyer, act on behalf of a client in matters involving the exercise of legal judgment.

CE 5. The paralegal has a duty to protect and preserve the confidences and secrets of the firm's clients.

CE 6. It shall be unethical for the paralegal to violate any statute controlling privileged communications.

CE 7. The paralegal shall avoid taking any action which a lawyer is prohibited from taking, including soliciting cases or clients for the lawyer or law firm, and shall avoid any activity which would be improper if it were performed by a lawyer.

CE 8. The paralegal shall avoid any conduct which would cause the lawyer to be or appear to be unethical.

CE 9. The paralegal shall inform the employer of any interest or association which might constitute or appear to constitute a conflict of interest.

CE 10. The paralegal shall maintain integrity and continually strive for a high degree of competency in all work performed.

CE 11. The paralegal shall remain current with developments in the area of law in which he or she is engaged through continuing education.

CE 12. The paralegal shall comply with this Code of Ethics and the code of ethics incorporated herein.  

DAPA, celebrating our 40th anniversary.

Dallas Area Paralegal Association

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