All About Paralegals and Legal Assistants
Paralegal or Legal Assistant Definition Assist lawyers by investigating facts, preparing legal documents, or researching legal precedent. Conduct research to support a legal proceeding, to formulate a defense, or to initiate legal action.
Life As a Paralegal or Legal Assistant: What Do They Do?
- Meet with clients and other professionals to discuss details of case.
- Arbitrate disputes between parties and assist in the real estate closing process, such as by reviewing title searches.
- Appraise and inventory real and personal property for estate planning.
- Investigate facts and law of cases and search pertinent sources, such as public records and internet sources, to determine causes of action and to prepare cases.
- Call upon witnesses to testify at hearing.
- Gather and analyze research data, such as statutes, decisions, and legal articles, codes, and documents.
Paralegal or Legal Assistant Needed Skills
When polled, Paralegals and Legal Assistants say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:
Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Related Job Titles for this Occupation:
- Research Analyst
- Law Associate
- Legal Aide
- Contract Preparer
Are There Job Opportunities for Paralegals and Legal Assistants?
In the United States, there were 285,600 jobs for Paralegal or Legal Assistant in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 14.6% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 41,800 new jobs for Paralegal or Legal Assistant by 2026. The BLS estimates 34,700 yearly job openings in this field.
The states with the most job growth for Paralegal or Legal Assistant are Nevada, Utah, and Colorado. Watch out if you plan on working in Alaska, Ohio, or Maryland. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.
Average Paralegals and Legal Assistants Salary
The salary for Paralegals and Legal Assistants ranges between about $31,400 and $82,050 a year.
Paralegals and Legal Assistants who work in District of Columbia, Connecticut, or Alaska, make the highest salaries.
How much do Paralegals and Legal Assistants make in each U.S. state?
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
|District of Columbia||$80,470|
Tools & Technologies Used by Paralegals and Legal Assistants
Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Paralegals and Legal Assistants may use on a daily basis:
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Office
- Microsoft PowerPoint
- Microsoft Outlook
- Web browser software
- Microsoft Access
- Data entry software
- Word processing software
- Microsoft Project
- Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
- Spreadsheet software
- Microsoft SharePoint
- IBM Notes
- Microsoft Publisher
- Google Docs
- Intuit QuickBooks
- Google Drive
How do I Become a Paralegal or Legal Assistant?
Education needed to be a Paralegal or Legal Assistant:
How many years of work experience do I need?
Where Paralegals and Legal Assistants Are Employed
The table below shows the approximate number of Paralegals and Legal Assistants employed by various industries.
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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