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The National Federation of Paralegal Associations, Inc. ("NFPA") is a
professional organization comprised of paralegal associations and
individual paralegals throughout the United States.
Members of NFPA have varying types of backgrounds, experience,
education, and job responsibilities which reflect the diversity of
the paralegal profession. NFPA promotes the growth, development and
recognition of the paralegal profession as an integral partner in the
delivery of legal services.
NFPA recognizes that the creation of guidelines and standards for
professional conduct are important for the development and expansion
of the paralegal profession. In May 1993, NFPA adopted this Model
Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility ("Model Code") to
delineate the principles for ethics and conduct to which every
paralegal should aspire. The Model Code expresses NFPA's commitment
to increasing the quality and efficiency of legal services and
recognizes the profession's responsibilities to the public, the legal
community, and colleagues.
Paralegals perform many different functions, and these functions
differ greatly among practice areas. In addition, each jurisdiction
has its own unique legal authority and practices governing ethical
conduct and professional responsibilities.
It is essential that each paralegal strive for personal and
professional excellence and encourage the professional development of
other paralegals as well as those entering the profession.
Participation in professional associations intended to advance the
quality and standards of the legal profession is of particular
importance. Paralegals should possess integrity, professional skill
and dedication to the improvement of the legal system and should
strive to expand the paralegal role in the delivery of legal
A Paralegal Shall Achieve and Maintain a High Level of Competence.
EC-1.1 A paralegal shall achieve competency through education,
training, and work experience.
EC-1.2 A paralegal shall participate in continuing education to
keep informed of current legal, technicaland general developments.
EC-1.3 A paralegal shall perform all assignments promptly and
A Paralegal Shall Maintain a High Level of Personal and Professional
EC-2.1 A paralegal shall not engage in any ex parte communications
involving the courts or any otheradjudicatory body in an attempt to
exert undue influence or to obtain advantage for the benefit of
EC-2.2 A paralegal shall not communicate, or cause another to
communicate, with a party the paralegalknows to be represented by a
lawyer in a pending matter without the prior consent of the lawyer
representing such other party.
EC-2.3 A paralegal shall ensure that all timekeeping and billing
records prepared by the paralegal arethorough, accurate, and honest.
EC-2.3 A paralegal shall be scrupulous, thorough and honest in the
identification and maintenance ofall funds, securities, and other
assets of a client and shall provide accurate accountings as
EC-2.5 A paralegal shall advise the proper authority of any
dishonest or fraudulent acts by any personpertaining to the handling
of the funds, securities or other assets of a client.
A Paralegal Shall Maintain a High Standard of Professional Conduct.
EC-3.1 A paralegal shall refrain from engaging in any conduct that
offends the dignity and decorum ofproceedings before a court or other
adjudicatory body and shall be respectful of all rules and
EC-3.2 A paralegal shall advise the proper authority of any action
of another legal professional whichclearly demonstrates fraud,
deceit, dishonesty, or misrepresentation.
EC-3.3 A paralegal shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of
impropriety.A paralegal shall serve the public interest by
contributing to the delivery of quality legalservices and the
improvement of the legal system.
EC-4.1 A paralegal shall be sensitive to the legal needs of the
public and shall promote the developmentand implementation of
programs that address those needs.
EC-4.2 A paralegal shall support bona fide efforts to meet the
need for legal services by those unable to payreasonable or customary
fees; for example, participation in pro bono projects and volunteer
EC-4.3 A paralegal shall support efforts to improve the legal
system and shall assist in making changes.
A Paralegal Shall Preserve all Confidential Information Provided by
the Client or Acquired From Other Sources Before, During, and After
the Course of the Professional Relationship.
EC-5.1 A paralegal shall be aware of and abide by all legal
authority governing confidential information.
EC-5.2 A paralegal shall not use confidential information to the
disadvantage of the client.
EC-5.3 A paralegal shall not use confidential information to the
advantage of the paralegal or of a third person.
EC-5.4 A paralegal may reveal confidential information only after
full disclosure and with the client's written consent; or, when
required by law or court order; or, when necessary to prevent the
client from committing an act which could result in death or serious
EC-5.5 A paralegal shall keep those individuals responsible for
the legal representation of a client fully informed of any
confidential information the paralegal may have pertaining to that
EC-5.6 A paralegal shall not engage in any indiscreet
communications concerning clients.
A Paralegal's Title Shall be Fully Disclosed.
EC-6.1 A paralegal's title shall clearly indicate the individual's
status and shall be disclosed in all businessand professional
communications to avoid misunderstandings and misconceptions about
the paralegal'srole and responsibilities.
EC-6.2 A paralegal's title shall be included if the paralegal's
name appears on business cards, letterhead,brochures, directories,
A Paralegal Shall Not Engage in the Unauthorized Practice of Law.
EC-7.1 A paralegal shall comply with the applicable legal
authority governing the unauthorized practice of law.
A Paralegal Shall Avoid Conflicts of Interest and Shall Disclose Any
Possible Conflict to the Employer or Client, As Well As to the
Prospective Employers or Clients.
EC-8.1 A paralegal shall act within the bounds of the law, solely
for the benefit of the client, and shall befree of compromising
influences and loyalties. Neither the paralegal's personal or
business interest, northose of other clients or third persons, should
compromise the paralegal's professional judgment and loyaltyto the
EC-8.2 A paralegal shall avoid conflicts of interest which may
arise from previous assignments whetherfor a present or past employer
EC-8.3 A paralegal shall avoid conflicts of interest which may
arise from family relationships and frompersonal and business
EC-8.4 A paralegal shall create and maintain an effective
recordkeeping system that identifies clients, matters, and parties
with which the paralegal has worked, to be able to determine whether
an actual or potential conflict of interest exists.
EC-8.5 A paralegal shall reveal sufficient non-confidential
information about a client or former client to reasonably ascertain
if an actual or potential conflict of interest exists.
EC-8.6 A paralegal shall not participate in or conduct work on any
matter where a conflict of interest hasbeen identified.
EC-8.7 In matters where a conflict of interest has been identified
and the client consents to continued representation, a paralegal
shall comply fully with the implementation and maintenance of an
copyright 1995 all rights reserved
National Federation of Paralegal Associations, Inc.
P.O. Box 33108 Kansas City, MO 64114-0108
Telephone: (816) 941-4000 Facsimile: (816) 941-2725
Internet: [email protected]
[I-L Note: This is an excellent organization who could use your
support. Check out their Web Site at http://www.paralegals.org]
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