962 words - 4 pages

When I graduated from high school, forty years ago, I had no idea that mathematics would play such a large role in my future. Like most people learning mathematics, I continue to learn until it became too hard, which made me lose interest. Failure or near failure is one way to put a stop to learning a subject, and leave a lasting impression not worth repeating. Mathematics courses, being compulsory, are designed to cover topics. One by one, the topics need not be important or of immediate use, but altogether or cumulatively, the topics provide or point to a skill, a mastery of mathematics.

Logic and mathematics starting with basic arithmetic showed me how to follow steps, one at a time and one after another, to arrive at the results, one step at a time and after another. I learned that an error in one step will make all the following steps and results wrong. Mathematics like any other rule and pattern based discipline may show through experience and trial or error, how to solve problems first by following given methods and later, if needed, by combining and exploring different methods.

In the paralegal field, I see the metric system, important to my daily work. Being able to do arithmetic by hand or with a calculator is needed in the calculating weights, measures and amounts (money included) that appear in daily life. I would be able to calculate estimates, costs, and my payroll hours. Tax forms give step by step instructions for calculating your taxes with arithmetic and a minimal use of formulas because government assumes no competence in algebra. Arithmetic and not algebra is required for computing your taxes.

The following are examples of the use of mathematics in the paralegal profession that I researched. The first one I researched was family law, there are so many ways mathematics would be used, such as determining spousal support requirements and calculating child support payments. Analyzing retirement benefits, bank accounts for division and how they can be divided, arranging for property appraisals, drafting property settlement agreements and drafting discovery requests for information relating to assets, income and liabilities.” As a litigation paralegal we could use calculating of due dates and computing statutes of limitation dates; the calculating of economic damages; preparing, maintaining and updating damage summaries; and finalizing settlement calculations. Another possibility would be as a probate paralegal the ability to perform trust accounting, in completing tax returns, distributing equal trust assets, maintain financial records, evaluate assets, and draft distribution schedules.

Some real estate paralegals may have to prorate taxes, utilities, obtain closing figures from banks and prorate closing costs. They may also have to perform financial calculations, including amortization, annual percentage rate, discounting and net present value. ...

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