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Legal Assistant Job Description

What does a legal assistant do?

A legal assistant is responsible for carrying out a variety of day to day functions in a law office such as meeting with clients, assisting attorneys, doing research work, and filing various documents. Legal assistants can find jobs in consultancy firms, insurance agencies, research organizations, foreign embassies, and government agencies. They can even become officers of the court, and serve important functions such as preparing documents related to a case, and interviewing potential witnesses. Due to the wide variety of tasks they can accomplish, employment opportunities for legal assistants in the past few years have soared unlike ever before. Among all occupations, legal assistant jobs have moved from the fifteenth position to the fourth in the United States over the past 10 years.

Areas of Specialization

Legal assistants can choose from a wide variety of degree programs and certification courses. Students can either pursue a traditional on-campus degree or join an online program. Taking online classes has quite a few added advantages. For one, you can take classes day or night, from the comfort of your home, through a simple internet connection. Moreover you not only save on commuting costs, but also don’t have to purchase a large number of books and other study guides – most colleges offer ‘online libraries’ where you can look up a book at the click of a button. Additionally, online colleges also offer courses at a fraction of the price a traditional college does. Aspiring legal assistants take classes in the English language, besides technical writing and oral skills. They also learn criminal law, civil law, substantive law, medical & healthcare law, insurance law and immigration law in addition to ethics and humanities.

What sorts of responsibilities does a legal assistant have?

The generalized training and education legal assistants receive enables them to fill a variety of managerial and administrative roles in various organizations which may or may not be included in the legal assistant job description. Paralegals who work in law firms are responsible for meeting with clients to discuss details about a particular case, assisting attorneys in various functions, attending court hearings with attorneys and taking notes, reviewing evidence and interviewing various witnesses. They also prepare various contracts and agreements and are responsible for filing documents such as lawsuits on behalf of a client or an attorney. Another vital function highlighted in the legal assistant job description is research; a variety of sources such as the internet, newspapers and public records are studied to gain information about a particular case. Legal assistants can also do a number of tasks traditionally assigned to attorneys, such as litigation, appraisal of property and various items and file tax returns.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Legal Assistant?

The first step is to obtain relevant education, preferably a 2-year long Associate of Science (AS) in Legal Studies. Students can also boost their legal careers by earning an advanced degree, like a 4-year long Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Legal Studies. These programs train individuals in the following areas: analyzing and identifying legal issues, preparing legal memoranda and proceedings, and conducting legal research. After completing the educational requirements, they can kick-start their careers as Legal Assistants.

What Are the Requirements to Become a Legal Assistant?

Students enrolled in the Associate of Science (AS) in Legal Studies have to complete around 60 credits and those enrolled in the Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Legal Studies have to complete approximately 120 credits. The curriculum covers a variety of modules such as Litigation Practice, Legal Research and Writing, Legal Ethics, Real Estate Law, Tort Law and Penal Law.

How Much Can I Make after Becoming a Legal Assistant?

Salary data by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that Paralegals and Legal Assistants made an hourly median wage of $24.49 and an annual median wage of $50,940 in 2018. It has been predicted that the employment opportunities for these professionals will increase by 12% in the next decade (2018-2028). This growth rate will lead to the creation of 39,000 more jobs in the economy. Therefore, this field is rewarding, both in terms of financial return and growth opportunities.

Specialization for legal assistants

As the field of law becomes increasingly complex, legal assistants also specialize in a particular area, such as medical & healthcare law – which deals with the various aspects of law in medical cases. Another rapidly expanding field is immigration law, where legal assistants deal with the various legal procedures involved in applying for, and obtaining citizenship. Other fields where legal assistants are employed include administrative & business law, criminal & civil law, litigation, estate planning, real estate, social services and family law. Legal assistants can also choose to work in other industries, such as federal, state or local government bodies and various private businesses such as insurance and software companies.

Legal Assistant Job Description

Median Wages (2015) $48,810 (Annual) $23.47 (Hourly)
Projected Job Openings (2014-2024) 82,700 5% to 8% (Projected growth)

According to O*NET OnLine, Legal assistants and Paralegals earned $48,810 per annum in 2015. The average job growth in this field from 2014 to 2024 is expected to take place between 5% to 8%, faster than the average job growth for all other occupations for the same time period.

States with the highest employment level in this occupation:



Employment per thousand jobs

Location quotient

Hourly mean wage

Annual mean wage

California 1660 0.11 1.26 18.13 37720
Florida 1130 0.14 1.68 17.97 37370
Illinois 960 0.16 1.92 17.9 37240
Texas 760 0.07 0.78 16.62 34570
New York 650 0.07 0.85 20.12 41840


Frequently Asked Question(s)

Q:What is the quick legal assistant job description?

A:A quick legal assistant job description can be summarized as follows. Legal assistants are required to assist lawyers in administrative and legal tasks. These professionals help lawyers in drafting legal documents, researching, and sometimes answering phones. The job description for this profession is different from a paralegal as these professionals are also required to help with administration as well.

Q:What is the legal administrative assistant job description?

A:Legal assistants or paralegals shoulder a number of legal responsibilities including managerial and administrative. They are required to take briefing from clients, discuss details, assist attorneys, attending court hearings with them and take notes, review evidence and interview witnesses on their behalf. Paralegals also prepare contracts, agreements and other legal documents. Filing lawsuits on behalf of a client or attorney and researching cases is also part of their duties.

Q:What are the main duties included in a litigation legal assistant job description?

A:A litigation assistant's primary duty is to help legal professionals. The duties expected to be performed include formatting briefs, filing documents, keeping track of records and billing, corresponding with clients, maintaining memos, transcribing dictations, manage legal software, professionally interact with all parties. A litigation assistant normally works with court officials, judges, and attorneys.

Q:Will the course content of a legal assistants' program help me undertake the day-to-day tasks required under a legal assistant job description?

A:Once you enter employment, your job description may vary from law firm to law firm- there is no fixed job description for such a role. Some law firms may require you just to assist, or shadow, a qualified lawyer, some may just require you for research. The programs offered provide students with an opportunity to learn a broad range of skills and will serve as a good foundation for your careers.

Q:Can you give the general job description of paralegal legal assistant jobs?

A:The responsibilities of paralegal and legal assistants include preparation of legal documents like contracts, briefs, wills, pleadings, appeals and real estate statements. They will also deal with law office activities and analyze the codes, court decisions, statutes, and legal articles and documents. They will also be expected to handle the preparation of cases and arbitration between groups.

Q:What are the legal assistant duties I should expect in my career as a paralegal?

A:Paralegals are also known as legal assistants. These professionals provide supportive services to lawyers and attorneys, and are hired by law firms all over. If you are planning to become a paralegal, you will be required to fulfill the following duties: handle documentation, making reports, conducting legal researches, managing appointments, assisting with trials and cases, preparing drafts, and more.What are the legal assistant duties I should expect in my career as a paralegal?

Q:Can you tell me about the administrative assistant legal job description?

A:The administrative assistant legal job description is based on a number of diverse tasks and responsibilities. Legal administrative assistants usually provide a large amount of legal administrative support. They are required to carry out a number of tasks such as technical, secretarial, and administrative functions. They perform various related tasks as assigned.

Q:What are the different skills required for administrative legal assistant job description?

A:A number of essential skills are required to carry out tasks mentioned in administrative legal assistant job description. These skills include multi-tasking, quick decision making, organization, communication, interpersonal, computer proficiency, office procedures, mail handling, letter drafting, and record keeping. An administrative assistant should also be good at using different office equipment such as fax machines, photocopier, and video conferencing.

Q:Can you tell me something about a family law assistant job description?

A:Family law assistants help and assist family lawyers. These professionals have a sound understanding of family law and are perform a wide range of tasks such as handling clients, communicating with clients, researching and managing client fields, preparing report reviews and other relevant documentation, and coordinating administrative activities. These professionals can be found at various law firms and agencies.

Q:Can you give me some information about a family law assistant job description?

A:A family law assistant is a professional who provides assistance to family lawyers, attorneys, and legal clerks. These professionals have in-depth information about the field of family law and can perform a number of legal duties such as managing family law facilitator programs, developing legal operational policies, handling administrative issues, writing legal reports, assisting clients in filling out forms, and reporting to lawyers.

Q:What are the job descriptions for legal assistant?

A:Legal assistants are supposed to help lawyers in research and other administrative task like keeping the legal documentation up to date, arranging meetings or assisting lawyers with case matters. They need to be aware of the legal system proceedings and the legal jargon. After getting the required training they can work with legal consultancies, research organizations and government agencies etc.

Q:Can you give me some information about legal assistant job duties?

A:A legal assistant is also known as a paralegal. This is a professional who carries out a number of job tasks such as handling legal documentation, client file management, assisting lawyers, analyzing and researching, preparing case reports, and handling administrative tasks. Legal assistants are usually employed by law firms, attorneys, and lawyers.

Q:If I become a legal assistant, what kind of legal assistant responsibilities should I expect on the job?

A:As a legal assistant you will be expected to perform a number of tasks. These can be related to the administration of a law office, or to case management. Some of the duties you will be required to perform include file preparation, Client database management, preparing documentation, case reviewing and analysis, preparing reports, and conducting researches.

Q:What is the legal administrative assistant salary?

A:The salary for a legal administrative assistant varies based on the exact nature of the job and the past work experience of the applicant. However, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual median pay for legal assistants in 2012 was $46,990. The highest paying sectors for these jobs were the Federal government and Finance and Insurance where the annual median pays were $62,400 and $ 54,670 respectively.

Q:What is the tasks of the legal assistant job description wise?

A:Legal assistants are responsible for assisting and aiding lawyers with their daily activities. Among their many important job responsibilities and tasks are the following: doing research for lawyers and paralegals, filing documents at the required courthouses, police stations and companies for the lawyers, and generally assisting attorneys.

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