There is nothing simple about the legal system. There are few shortcuts, and even items that initially appear to be easy to deal with can quickly become rather difficult. This makes it nearly impossible for one individual to handle it all. Instead, many individuals working within the legal system depend strongly on capable legal administrative assistants to help them with a range of responsibilities. We often think of the term "administrative assistant" as little more than a secretary, but when it comes to the legal world, an administrative assistant lives up to the full meaning of the title. Start by researching any of the criminal justice programs we have listed.
An Associate's Degree in legal administrative assistance develops skills far beyond what any ordinary secretary can do. Since the legal world is a complex system requiring specialized knowledge, a degree in legal administrative assistance seeks to provide a wide range of skills and education that specifically prepare individuals for this kind of work at a more elite, legal level. Attorneys, courtrooms, and many others will depend heavily on your skillset that keeps the background running smoothly and the gears of the legal system fluidly oiled.
The primary area of employment for those with legal administrative assistant training is of course in the legal field, working directly for attorneys or other professionals who need assistant with particular tasks. Legal administrative assistants possess a unique skillset, as compared to other common secretaries, that enable them to understand and keep up with the requirements in the legal field. Normally, it is law firms, law offices, or courts themselves that employ legal administrative assistants. Here, if you have an Associate's Degree specializing you in this area, you will work directly for one lawyer, a team of lawyers, or a department within the justice system.
In some ways, the tasks associated with this position include responsibilities common in many secretarial positions. For example, organizing, filing, transcribing, scheduling, and working with office computer software are often used in many administrative assistant roles. However, an individual with a legal administrative assistant degree is also empowered with knowledge specific to this position, which includes a familiarity with legal terminology, competency in reading and completing legal documents, coding such documents, and maintaining a legal library are necessary to the successful functioning of a lawyer's practice.
To train individuals to take on the unique challenges of this legal administrative assistant role, degree programs focus on both general secretarial skills and legal knowledge. This means that in addition to learning about software, organization, management, and transcription, educations will also include data management, business organization, business communications, business math, and legal processes. Fortunately, there is an increasing number of individuals obtaining their law degrees, which means that there is an increasing need for legal administrative assistants with the knowledge and experience to help these up and coming attorneys keep their practices organized and running efficiently. Furthermore, while many legal administrative assistants enjoy the security and balance of their career and choose to remain in this role over a long period of time, many others see this position as a springboard to becoming a paralegal and potentially even an attorney themselves. This position provides a wealth of direct experience inside of the legal setting.
Although there is nothing simple about the legal system, the complex processes needed for staying organized in this field can be somewhat simplified when there is true talent sitting behind the secretary's desk. With your Associate's Degree for becoming a legal administrative assistant, you will possess the skills and experience necessary for serving a lawyer, a firm, or a judiciary department. Not only will you possess administrative assistant skills that are applicable in a wide variety of businesses, but you will also obtain specific knowledge related to the legal field that makes you the competent organizational force behind any successful practice.
- Introduction to Paralegal
- Legal Ethics
- Business Llaws
- Criminal Litigation
- Family Law, Wills and Estates
- Civil Litigation
- Legal Research
- Federal Income & Taxation
- White Collar Crime
- Legal Terminology
Legal Administrative Assistant– With an average pay of $48,475 per year this is a popular career path for those who obtained their Associate’s degree. You’ll work with lawyers and provide a supporting role with documents and legal research.
Real Estate Legal Assistant – Prepare documents, deeds and do rental agreements for brokers or even a real estate company. As a legal assistant you’ll be in-charge of this type of documentation and often can work with lawyers. Salary for real estate legal assistants can range from $32,500-$47,500 per year depending on experience.
Bankruptcy Assistant – When an estate or someone declares bankruptcy you’ll need to work with a bankruptcy court to determine how to setting the bankruptcy. As an assistant you’ll work with the courts or even clients creating documents, filing and offering support.
One of the most recent trends in the industry are law firms now hiring virtual legal assistants are part of their team. These new assistants work remote and can even work for multiple law firms at the same time. By working remote they are able to offer their services at a discounted rate. Often virtual legal assistants specialize in a particular area of law thus allowing law firms to hire exactly what they need. It also avoids the law firms from training staff members as often the virtual assistants can instantly pick up a project and complete it in a fraction of the time.
Legal Assistant Resources
BLS - http://www.bls.gov/ooh/legal/paralegals-and-legal-assistants.htm