If you believe that the job of a legal assistant is the right one for you, you will be assisting an attorney and doing just about everything in the office except giving legal advice or representing any clients in court.
Legal Assistant Responsibilities
If you become a legal assistant, an attorney may send you out to a crime scene. While you’re there, you will be responsible for taking videos or photos of the area and making notes of what happened.
While you’re in the office as a legal assistant, you will help research issues regarding legal cases. You must know how to search legal databases so that you can help find laws or past cases relating to current cases that you are working on. You must also be familiar with case management software and have an understanding of what needs to be scanned and labeled so that it can be easily referenced in the future.
As a legal assistant, you’ll probably accompany an attorney when they appear in court. Your job is to assist them by helping with the appropriate documents that are associated with the case that they are working with.
Legal Assistant Salary
The national average salary for legal assistance is about $45,000 per year. At the low end, you can expect to make $33,000 per year, and at the high-end, a legal assistant makes about $63,000 per year. Of course, this is going to be based on experience as well as the location of your job. If you have more responsibilities, you’ll probably make a higher salary.
Becoming A Legal Assistant
To gain an edge at becoming a legal assistant, it’s best to obtain an Associates degree or bachelor’s degree in an area associated with legal assisting. By doing so, you will learn various types of ways to search legal databases as well as various types of law. By learning about legal matters and how to research them, it will give you a better understanding of this profession.
Certifications And Examinations
In some states, you will be required to pass an exam, which will allow you to become licensed or certified. You’ll need to check with the paralegal association or bar association in your state to see if this step is required. You can also participate in a voluntary certification program that is available via nationwide paralegal associations. If you earn this type of certification, it shows that you have gained the knowledge required to become a legal assistant. To obtain a certificate, you must pass a written exam that covers a vast amount of knowledge related to legal matters.
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!