Some national and local paralegal organizations offer voluntary paralegal certifications to students able to pass an exam. 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. Paralegals and legal assistants typically do the following: Paralegals and legal assistants help lawyers prepare for hearings, trials, and corporate meetings. Legal Secretaries vs. Paralegals and Legal Assistants Many law firms call their legal secretaries “legal assistants” so they can justify billing clients for these employees' hours as well, but the duties of a legal secretary are typically more limited. Pay In a lot of cases, you would need an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies, public policy, political science or a related field, in order to become a legal assistant. Of course, you might prefer to do one type of work at an earlier stage in your career, and another later on when you circumstances and lifestyle changes. The What They Do tab describes the typical duties and responsibilities of workers in the occupation, including what tools and equipment they use and how closely they are supervised. With the right education you can be prepared for either. There are links in the left-hand side menu to compare occupational employment by state and occupational wages by local area or metro area. Communication skills are necessary since they serve as a liaison between clients, experts, vendors, and the parties of a litigation or legal transaction. This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of paralegals and legal assistants. The site is secure. Legal assistants can work in law offices for government agencies or for legal departments at corporate offices. The They also use computer programs for organizing and maintaining important documents. The median annual wage for paralegals and legal assistants was $51,740 in May 2019. Paralegals must be able to document and present their research and related information to their supervising attorney. However, many employers may prefer, or even require, applicants to have a bachelor’s degree. Corporate paralegals may monitor and review government regulations to ensure that the corporation is aware of new legal requirements. The Work Environment tab includes the number of jobs held in the occupation and describes the workplace, the level of physical activity expected, and typical hours worked. Paralegals may be responsible for many cases at one time. 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. This post will give you some recommendations on how to become a legal assistant/paralegal. How much does it cost to become a legal assistant? Litigation paralegals maintain documents received from clients, conduct research for lawyers, retrieve and organize evidence for use at depositions and trials, and draft settlement agreements. Paralegals and legal assistants are found in all types of organizations, but most work for law firms, corporate legal departments, and government agencies. 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