How to Properly Assign Responsibilities in a Law Office

Is it proper for the attorney to assign the associate this responsibility?

a) Yes, if the paralegals are experienced in searching titles.
b) Yes, because the attorney is ultimately liable for the accuracy of the title searches.
c) No, unless it enables the attorney to charge lower fees for title certification.
d) No, because the attorney is not adequately supervising the work of the associate.


It is improper for the attorney to assign a task of great legal significance to an associate who has no experience in that area, without providing adequate supervision, even if they are supported by experienced paralegals. The correct option is (d).

Attorneys have a responsibility to ensure that their associates are adequately supervised and properly trained when handling tasks that require legal expertise. In the scenario presented, the attorney assigning the associate to review title searches without any prior familiarity in the field and little to no supervision is a cause for concern.

Assigning such important responsibilities to an inexperienced associate, even with the support of experienced paralegals, can lead to errors and legal consequences. In this case, the attorney's decision to lower office expenses by delegating this task to the associate raises ethical and professional issues.

It is essential for attorneys to provide proper guidance, supervision, and training to their associates to uphold the integrity of the legal profession and ensure the accuracy of legal work. Without adequate supervision, the attorney may be putting their clients, the firm, and the associate at risk.

Therefore, it is crucial for attorneys to prioritize proper supervision and guidance when assigning tasks to their associates to maintain ethical standards and uphold the quality of legal services provided.

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