Part of the team

Our highly skilled paralegals are an integral part of the legal services team.  They are involved in various work from complex business transactions to all stages of litigation including courtroom support. Below, please find more information about our paralegal program.

  • Internship Program
  • Paralegal Professional Development Committee
  • Paralegal Liaison
  • Compensation Policy

Nilan Johnson Lewis’ Paralegal Internship Program was developed, and is coordinated, by the Paralegal Professional Development Committee. Our annual program is open to all individuals currently enrolled in an ABA-Approved Paralegal Program, in need of an internship to complete their degree requirements, and who intend to pursue the paralegal professional as their career. The program’s goal is to expose the intern to all tasks and work performed by a paralegal at Nilan Johnson Lewis including exposure to legal research, writing, and some client contact. Projects are assigned, as needed, based on workload, by the Firm’s paralegals.

This is a part-time paid internship program offering between 120-200 hours depending upon the candidate’s internship requirements. Usually the internship is completed in one semester or over a summer. Exact timing for the internship program varies from year to year. Announcements seeking applicants for the program are posted with area paralegal programs as well as the Firm’s website. (Participation in this internship program does not guarantee offer of employment.)

The Paralegal Professional Development Committee (PPDC) is a sub-committee of the Firm’s Professional Development Committee. The PPDC designs and implements training programs and mentoring programs for paralegals in conjunction with the Professional Development Committee. The PPDC also oversees the Firm’s Paralegal Internship program. In addition, they work with the firm administration and Human Resources to analyze and implement policies and procedures which foster paralegal professional development.

One shareholder is assigned to the paralegal group as an advocate to support workload and professional development. The Liaison participates in all annual paralegal reviews and monthly group meetings.

The purpose of our paralegal compensation policy is to attract and retain paralegals and ensure they are compensated at levels competitive within the Twin Cities major-law-firm marketplace and, more importantly, to recognize each individual’s unique value to the Firm and their dedication to excellence and exceptional client service.

The paralegal compensation package consists of a salary, overtime, a discretionary bonus and benefits. Following is an overview of the policy.

Salary 

Consistent with and in furtherance of the Firm’s Core Values, the salary is designed to compensate well for both work performed on behalf of the Firm’s clients and for activities that are beneficial to the paralegal, the legal community and the Firm. Salaries are earned and paid on a non-exempt semi-monthly basis. Specifically, the salary portion of our compensation program is intended to compensate each paralegal for satisfying the following expectations:

  • Annual Production consistent with or exceeding stated expectations (currently 1600 billable hours);
  • Consistently excellent work product;
  • Efficiency and realization on hours billed;
  • Proficiency in both the technical and practical skills of paralegal work; and
  • Individual and group efforts in client service.

Overtime

Paralegals are considered non-exempt employees and as a result are eligible for overtime pay.

Discretionary Bonus

All paralegals are eligible to share in the financial success of the Firm by receiving a discretionary bonus. Discretionary bonuses are given based upon the overall profitability of the Firm, achievement of the Firm’s stated expectations and exceptional performance or contributions by the paralegal to the betterment of the Firm and its clients in accordance with the Firm’s Core Values.

The Compensation Committee, based on input from the Paralegal Liaison and Administrative Management, is responsible for awarding paralegal bonuses at the end of the Firm’s fiscal year. Individual bonus determinations are based primarily on a paralegal’s written performance evaluations, and the Committee’s assessment of each paralegal’s overall contribution to the Firm. The following factors will, at a minimum, be considered in calculating and awarding discretionary bonuses:

  • Development of specialized expertise
  • Demonstrated leadership among peers
  • Exceptional recognition or dependence by senior attorneys or client teams
  • Exceptional Innovation
  • Participation in ongoing professional development and progress toward identified goals
  • Productivity beyond stated expectations
  • Significant personal sacrifice

Although the paralegal bonus is discretionary and is dependent upon the firm’s overall financial success in a given year, the bonus is part of each paralegal’s total compensation and is considered by the Firm in evaluating the overall paralegal-compensation package.

Benefits

The Firm currently offers benefits in the categories of health and well-being, work/life and retirement and savings benefits.