Role of Nonlawyers in Law Practice

What the Michigan State Bar has to say about the utilization of legal assistants:

"Article 1, Sec 6, of the Bylaws of the State Bar of Michigan defines ‘legal assistant’ for purposes of membership in the State Bar Legal Assistant Section as follows:

"Any person currently employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, governmental agency or other entity engaged in the practice of law, in a capacity or function which involves the performance under the direction and supervision of an attorney of specifically delegated substantive legal work, which work, for the most part, requires a sufficient knowledge of legal concepts such that, absent that legal assistant, the attorney would perform the task, and which is not primarily clerical or secretarial in nature . . ."

"While the Guidelines are directed primarily at the utilization of legal assistants as defined above, many of the same considerations would apply in the utilization and supervision of any other nonlawyer assistants. While the Guidelines necessarily discuss the conduct of legal assistants, they are directed at lawyers who use or supervise legal assistants. The Guidelines are intended to aid the lawyer in fulfilling responsibilities under the Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct."

You can find more info in the detailed 9 Guidelines.