What is a Paralegal or Legal Assistant?
Career Description 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.
Daily Life Of a Paralegal or Legal Assistant
- Keep and monitor legal volumes to ensure that law library is up-to-date.
- Prepare affidavits or other documents, such as legal correspondence, and organize and maintain documents in paper or electronic filing system.
- Call upon witnesses to testify at hearing.
- Direct and coordinate law office activity, including delivery of subpoenas.
- File pleadings with court clerk.
- Gather and analyze research data, such as statutes, decisions, and legal articles, codes, and documents.
Qualities of a Paralegal or Legal Assistant
Below is a list of the skills most Paralegals and Legal Assistants say are important on the job.
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.
Other Paralegal or Legal Assistant Job Titles
- Litigation Legal Assistant
- Legal Assistant
- Law Associate
- Document Processor
- Research Analyst
Job Demand for Paralegals and Legal Assistants
In 2016, there was an estimated number of 285,600 jobs in the United States for Paralegal or Legal Assistant. 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. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 34,700 job openings in this field each year.
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.
Paralegal or Legal Assistant Salary
The typical yearly salary for Paralegals and Legal Assistants is somewhere between $31,400 and $82,050.
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|
What Tools & Technology do Paralegals and Legal Assistants Use?
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 to Become a Paralegal or Legal Assistant
Individuals working as a Paralegal or Legal Assistant have obtained the following education levels:
How many years of work experience do I need?
Paralegals and Legal Assistants Sector
Below are examples of industries where Paralegals and Legal Assistants work:
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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