Legal Assistant | Bryant & Stratton

Legal Office Assistant

What Is a Legal Office Assistant?

A legal office assistant handles the day-to-day administrative tasks that are necessary in a law office. Busy lawyers have too many responsibilities to deal with some of the more minute tasks involved in managing and maintaining legal cases. Legal office assistants are responsible for a variety of responsibilities including organizing data, gathering information, interacting with clients, and drafting important legal documents. 

Thanks to legal office assistants, lawyers can handle a much larger case load. These assistants may communicate the progress of a case with clients, handle scheduling for depositions, prepare subpoenas, and more. From organizing evidence to taking notes in the courtroom, legal office assistants play a crucial role streamlining activities for everyone involved in the case. 

Job Responsibilities

  • Documenting legal actions 
  • Organizing files 
  • Confirming case statuses and generating reports 
  • Preparing summonses 
  • Filing discovery requests 
  • Recording case costs 
  • Preparing materials for meetings, pleadings, & trials 
  • Collecting discovery responses 
  • Scheduling witnesses 
  • Preparing trial exhibits 
  • Drafting legal paperwork 
  • Scheduling appointments 
  • Transcribing documents 
  • Researching laws and regulations 
  • Collecting formal statements 

What is the Job Outlook for Legal Office Assistants? 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of paralegals and legal assistants is projected to grow 4 percent from 2022 to 2032, about as fast as the average for all occupations.  

About 38,000 openings for paralegals and legal assistants are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.  

Law firms will continue to be the largest employer of paralegals, as these workers are needed to help prepare and organize legal documents. However, many large corporations are increasing their in-house legal departments to cut costs. This should lead to an increase in the demand for legal workers in a variety of settings. 

Where Do Legal Office Assistants Work? 

Most legal office assistants work in legal services. According to the BLS, Paralegals do most of their work in offices. Occasionally, they may travel to gather information, collect and review documents, accompany attorneys to depositions or trials, and do other tasks. Legal assistants are found in all types of organizations, but most work full-time for law firms, corporate legal departments, and government agencies. 

Legal office assistants spend most of their time working in an office environment. They work closely with lawyers, paralegals, and other members of the office staff. These professionals also have contact with clients on a regular basis. For some cases, they may travel to deliver documents or perform research. These assistants may also spend some of their time in the courtroom organizing documents, recording information, and attending trials to provide general administrative assistance to the lawyer. 

What Education Do I Need to Become a Legal Office Assistant? 

Educational requirements vary by job, but most employers prefer to hire legal office assistants who have a strong background in the legal field. It’s important to have an in-depth understanding of the terminology used in legal documents. As these assistants review, file, organize, prepare, and draft many legal documents, they need to understand what they’re working with. Legal office assistants should also understand the basics of the legal process. Those who perform some of their duties in the courtroom should have a solid understanding of what’s happening. Transcribing legal proceedings, too, is easier for those who can follow what’s happening easily. 

The Legal Office Assistant Diploma from Bryant & Stratton College prepares students to draft legal documents and research court cases. Throughout this program, students will gain the ability to understand legal terminology, read and prepare legal documents, and provide support to lawyers and law firms. The program includes courses in civil litigation, contract law, criminal law, law office management, and legal research. 

Professionals who would like to advance in this career field may need to obtain an associate or bachelor’s degree for some positions. With a legal office assistant diploma, however, you may qualify for some entry level positions in the field. 

What Can I Do with a Legal Office Assistant Diploma? 

A legal office assistant diploma can prepare you for many support positions in the legal field. Different firms may define the position of a legal office assistant differently. It’s important to cast your net wide when searching for a career in this field. Perform a broad job search and keep your options open by looking for positions with many related titles. With a legal office assistant diploma, you may qualify for jobs such as: 

  • Title examiner 
  • Title officer 
  • Legal support worker 
  • Legal executive assistant 
  • Legal secretary 
  • Law firm administrator 
  • Legal administrative assistant 
  • Legal researcher 

A legal office assistant diploma can give you some of the core information that you may need to explore entry level positions in a law office. Watch for administrative and secretarial jobs in this field for your first position or consider applying for an internship or shadowing opportunity to get real-world experience for your resume. 

For more insights into the Legal Office Assistant Diploma, check out the paralegal section of our blog. Here, you’ll find information on the educational and employment opportunities available to you in the legal field. 

While these projections can help career-minded people evaluate potential employment fields, it is important to note that job market data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Handbook is only intended to provide insight on occupational opportunities. It should not be construed as a guarantee of salary or job title. Neither BLS nor Bryant & Stratton College can guarantee employment in any field.

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