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Common Questions Regarding Preparation For Legal Assistant Jobs

With the need for legal assistant jobs increasing steadily over the next few years, there's never been a better time to consider becoming a paralegal. Here are some FAQ answered for your knowledge.


Knowing the legal assistant job description and what’s going to be expected of you before you apply, is really important if you hope to get the job. Without that type of knowledge in tow, you’re going to be in a world of hurt, as well as rejection when it comes to trying to get your foot in the door.  But this is the type of career that can really suit you, so long as you’re prepared for what it’s going to entail.  There are some educational accolades that you’re going to want to have in tow, and you also want to be prepared for your future at the same time.

Naturally, as with any type of major career decision, everyone is going to have some pretty important questions regarding what to expect, as well as what any type of career actually entails.  Here are some of the most common questions associated with this type of a career, and what you need to know before signing up for any legal assistant jobs:

1) What does a paralegal actually do?

You’re going to find that this is one of those types of jobs that actually changes depending upon where the firm you work for has need of you.  But basically, you’re the major assistants to the lawyers on staff, and this means doing all the legal legwork that they have need of, when it comes to getting a case resolved.  That means doing a ton of research, as well as looking into case history, and even conducting interviews with witnesses and the like, for the benefit of the lawyer.

In most cases, it’s a really hard position that involves a lot of slow and patient work.  That’s why an interest in law is a necessity, and usually this type of a career is a stepping stone to other forms of law practice.  That makes this the ideal career to pay the bills when you’re just starting off, so that you can ensure you’re able to take care of yourself as you embark on your career path.

2) What type of an education is necessary for legal assistants?

This really depends upon how far you want to take your career.  For the most basic requirements to actually land the position, all you need is a two year associates degree, which you can get from almost any college right out of high school.  However, if you’re hoping to take your career beyond the assistant level, and become a lawyer yourself, you’re going to need at least a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, which is a four year college degree.

3) What is the average legal assistant salary you can expect?

As with any other type of financial question, this is really a sliding scale type of answer, as it depends upon where you work, your experience and education level, and other factors.  But most commonly you can expect to earn between the upper thirty to forty thousand dollar range in most cases.  This means it’s bound to pay the bills, and there is also plenty of room for growth as well as bonuses.  The really invaluable paralegals can earn just under the six figure range into the $70,000 type of area.  What’s more, there are always bonuses coming for the long hours that you have to work when a lawyer is working on a big case.

4) Do legal assistant jobs require certification?

The easy answer is no, because technically you’re not allowed to provide legal advice to anyone, so you’re not expected to have a well versed knowledge in the law.  This is most typically the type of job where you handle people, and where you do a ton of research.  But that’s not to say certification is not a good idea, and getting paralegal certification does open up more opportunities, and makes you look like a better candidate with a more well respected representation of the knowledge that you have and offer.

5) How is the career expected to grow in the coming years?

This is actually one of the best legal careers around, as the need for paralegals is expected to grow by up to 28% over the next seven years, meaning that there are plenty of opportunities opening up.  Just be prepared to do what it takes in order to get the position.  With more slots available, usually the number of applicants goes up before too long, and you have to be able to beat them to any position that you want.

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