Working for a law firm as a legal assistant can be rewarding work that more than pays the bills. These jobs are demanding, and they require a specific set of skills. If you want to work in this capacity, then you need to come up with a plan that will allow you to do so. How can you get a job as a legal assistant? Here are a few tips that will help.
Get an education that’s heavy in writing
Some people think that they have to study in a paralegal program or study pre-law to land a job as a legal assistant. They think that if you want to work in a criminal defense firm, you need a criminal justice degree. In reality, this could not be farther from the truth. Most lawyers and firms are looking for people who have strong writing skills. A major part of your job will be handling basic correspondence. You’ll also be helping with motions, briefing and legal research. Understanding how to write well is far more valuable than the menial legal education you might pick up in an undergraduate criminal justice degree program. You should think about history, communications or some other degree program that requires you to write critically.
Networking is critical
Most jobs in the legal world are filled through networking. While some firms will absolute advertise their open positions, they would prefer to hire people from referrals. To network properly in the legal world, you should get to know people at local bar association events. There are also online groups for lawyers that you can interact with. Make it known that you are looking for work in the legal field. Many lawyers are so busy that they do not have the time to actively recruit. If you come to them, they may be more apt to hire you.
Demonstrate responsibility and conscientiousness in an interview
When law firms and solo practitioners interview people to fill a legal assistant job, they will be assessing your judgment and professionalism. This is because they will need you to interact with clients, fellow lawyers, judges and court personnel. You will be a representation of them, so they will want you to present well. On top of that, lawyers want to know that you won’t cause problems with things like attorney-client privilege. Showing that you know the rules of ethics and are willing to apply them will go a long way to helping your search.
Jim Treebold is a North Carolina based writer. He lives by the mantra of “Learn 1 new thing each day”! Jim loves to write, read, pedal around on his electric bike and dream of big things. Drop him a line if you like his writing, he loves hearing from his readers!