Paralegals & Legal Assistants
Also called: Law Associate, Legal Assistant, Paralegal, Paralegal Specialist
Produced by CareerOneStop
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High-stakes, high-speed, and—at times—high-stress, the workings of the world of law are supported by the efforts of paralegals and legal assistants. These law professionals help lawyers prepare for hearings and trials, draft documents, and coordinate electronic materials, such as emails, accounting databases, and websites related to a trial or investigation. They gather case facts and dig into related laws and regulations, write up reports, and schedule meetings and interviews with witnesses, lawyers, and others. Not all paralegals work with trial lawyers … Corporate paralegals help prepare employee contracts, shareholder agreements, and financial reports. They stay current with regulations to give up-to-date information. Paralegals also specialize in areas such as criminal law, intellectual property, immigration, and family law. Most paralegals work for law firms. Some are employed in government or the finance and insurance industries. In small firms, paralegals’ have more varied duties and their work lasts the duration of a case… while in large firms, paralegals may focus on a particular phase of a case. Most paralegals and legal assistants work full time in an office environment, adding overtime to meet deadlines. They may occasionally travel for research or preparation for trials. Most employers prefer applicants who have an associate’s degree in paralegal studies, or a bachelor’s degree in another field, sometimes with a certificate in paralegal studies.
What they do: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.
On the job, you would:
- Prepare affidavits or other documents, such as legal correspondence, and organize and maintain documents in paper or electronic filing system.
- Prepare legal documents, including briefs, pleadings, appeals, wills, contracts, and real estate closing statements.
- Prepare for trial by performing tasks such as organizing exhibits.
Arts and Humanities
- English language
- administrative services
- customer service
Safety and Government
- law and government
Engineering and Technology
- computers and electronics
- reading work related information
- listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
- noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
- read and understand what is written
- communicate by speaking
Ideas and Logic
- notice when problems happen
- make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
People interested in this work like activities that include data, detail, and regular routines.
They do well at jobs that need:
- Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Document management software
Information retrieval or search software
- American LegalNet USCourtForms
Data base user interface and query software