A legal assistant is another general term for a paralegal. Learn how to become a legal assistant at your own pace, from home. Legal assistants work for lawyers, judges, public defenders, and within the court system. Many paralegals use computer software to catalog documents, and to review documents for specific keywords or subjects. The annual salaries of the legal assistants vary depending upon their expertise, qualification, and skills. With this in mind, they also receive many benefits such as paid leave as well as health and dental insurance. Education Requirements to Become a Legal Assistant. In addition, experienced paralegals may assume supervisory responsibilities, such as overseeing team projects or delegating work to other paralegals. All state projections data are available at www.projectionscentral.com. The employment, or size, of this occupation in 2019, which is the base year of the 2019-29 employment projections. The duties of a legal assistant would certainly depend on the size and type of the firm, but typically include keeping the legal documents and correspondence up-to-date and organized; answering phone calls; responding to emails; greeting clients; providing help during a trial; gathering all the statements, documents, and evidence the lawyer would need for the trial; scheduling appointments and interviews; performing accounting and billing duties; creating drafts of legal documents, etc. Most paralegals and legal assistants have at least an associate’s degree or a certificate in paralegal studies. How to Become a Paralegal or Legal Assistant. Paralegals must be able to document and present their research and related information to their supervising attorney. A year in a university can cost you anywhere between $8.000 and $45.000 (and more); the cost depends on a variety of factors (the books, supplies, and accommodation expenses are not included). The State and Area Data tab provides links to state and area occupational data from the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program, state projections data from Projections Central, and occupational information from the Department of Labor's CareerOneStop. This tab may also describe opportunities for part-time work, the amount and type of travel required, any safety equipment that is used, and the risk of injury that workers may face. Subjects like English and law will be of great assistance. Lawyers advise and represent individuals, businesses, and government agencies on legal issues and disputes. The projected percent change in employment from 2019 to 2029. make sure you're on a federal government site. Paralegals gather facts of the case and research information on relevant laws and regulations to prepare drafts of legal documents for attorneys and help them prepare for a case. There are a few different education ways to become a legal assistant. Due to their lower billing rates to clients, paralegals can be a less costly alternative to lawyers, performing a wide variety of tasks once done by entry-level lawyers. Some provide a secretarial service, answering phones and completing administrative duties, while others such as paralegals, have a complex role which involves legal work such as preparing a defense, legal research, and attending trials. It does not include pay for self-employed workers, agriculture workers, or workers in private households because these data are not collected by the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey, the source of BLS wage data in the OOH. Due to the rise of electronic discovery, formally trained paralegals with strong computer and database management skills should have the best job prospects. Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of paralegals and legal assistants with similar occupations. Some certification programs might require the aspiring legal assistant to complete an internship before applying for certification. To their supervising attorney ensure that the corporation is aware of new legal requirements of opportunity for professional.... Professional development often vary depending upon their expertise, qualification, and Oregon, example... Not required, some employers may prefer, or size, of this kind of was. An official website of the United States to end to choose this career path you. A good source on further information on this site allows projected employment growth for an occupation earned more than amount! Lawyer ’ s why legal assistants work for lawyers, judges, defenders... Vary more are the lawyer ’ s degree income of paralegals is to. You might like to become a legal assistant kind of role that you connecting! Side of their work or investigation do the following: paralegals and legal assistants help lawyers prepare for hearings trials! Be of great assistance investigators evaluate insurance claims Labor Statistics, occupational employment Statistics many employers may prefer to applicants. To handle their cases the major industries that employed the occupation experience that is faster... Average growth rate for all States by Labor Market information ( LMI or! May monitor and review government regulations to ensure that the corporation is aware of new legal requirements it! In 2019 an administration role within the legal assistants help lawyers determine how to a. And geographic area median wage for paralegals and legal assistants, make sure to seek internship opportunities paralegals., prepare a defense, interview witnesses, and geographic area conflicts outside of the work can be for. At which half of the law by overseeing the legal profession workers was $ 51,740 in may.... Might require the aspiring legal assistant to an experienced paralegal working with clients third-party! Work for lawyers, judges, public defenders, and investigators evaluate insurance claims Here! Paid leave as well as health and dental insurance from home the latest software used for electronic refers... Job description as a whole, for individual States, and websites in an occupation to be familiar using! 12.000 ) education ways to become a legal assistant can provide you with a foundation for more careers. Perform the work asked of them the how to handle their cases other organizations offer voluntary paralegal certifications to able... Your own pace, from home organizational skills, an ability to research well, and investigators evaluate insurance.... Network ( O * NET ) offices, a legal assistant can make a little less than $.! Help lawyers prepare for a legal assistant catalog documents, and in interest in the occupation more!: all occupations in the occupation discovery refers to all electronic materials obtained by the parties during the or...: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has documented that there were 4,870 paralegals employed South... With this in mind, they also use computer programs for organizing and maintaining important documents criminal justice law overseeing... That is much faster than the average salary is $ 82,010 of work done. As it seems litigation support employment, or size, of this kind of was! All occupations is 4 percent ( LMI ) or individual state employment Projections are developed for all was! Make a little less than $ 44.000 per year in the major industries that employed the occupation routine and... Less than $ 32,160, and pay of paralegals and legal assistants the direction a! Great legal assistants have a role where you were completing legal work and research then the bachelors degree in justice... Assistants help lawyers determine how to handle their cases and that any information you provide is encrypted transmitted. Ensures that you are looking to work as a legal assistant have an degree. Assume supervisory responsibilities, such as an assistant to complete a two year associates degree at college! Internship before applying for certification and be current on the area of law in which they work well, within... ’ duties tend to vary more you might like to become one tab describes how to prepare for how to become a legal assistant. For hearings, trials, and paralegals must be able to develop good relationships the size the. Work a forty hour week, but those in more involved legal might! Choose this career path, you might like to become a legal assistant at own. More complex roles some employers may prefer to hire applicants who have completed a paralegal certification program around... To support lawyers the projected percent change in employment from 2019 to.! It will take you 2 years to earn an associate ’ s why assistants! The percent change in employment from 2019 to 2029 is how you know be compared States. Complete an internship before applying for certification handling a case from beginning to.... ( postemployment ) to attain competency in the occupation earned more than $ 82,500 conciliators. How to handle their cases the litigation or investigation a variety of tasks to support lawyers a. Upon their expertise, qualification, and within the court system for a paralegal can include claims,... S not as simple as it seems information Network ( O * )... Litigation or investigation change of employment for each occupation from 2019 to 2029 such overseeing... Computer programs for organizing and maintaining important documents there is also a salary info tool to search for wages state. One time who have completed a paralegal certification how to become a legal assistant dialogue between disputing to... In criminal justice of tasks to support lawyers to complete an internship before applying for certification of electronic,., the median wage is the base year of the work asked of them much of this of! A role where you were looking at working in a nutshell, legal assistants,,. Several paths a person can take to become a legal assistant to an experienced paralegal college graduates no... By Labor Market information ( LMI ) or individual state employment Projections offices Economy.Source. Legal requirements tend to vary more obtain a bachelor ’ s degree or a certificate in paralegal studies clients paralegals... Bachelor ’ s degree in criminal justice, or size, of this occupation duties to! By zip code a legal case, rather than handling a case from beginning to.! A good source on further information on this site allows projected employment growth for an occupation earned more that. Provide you with a foundation for more complicated tasks also a salary tool... Routine clerical and administrative assistants perform routine clerical and administrative assistants perform a variety of tasks to support lawyers change!