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Legal Support Worker

What is a Legal Support Worker? 

A legal support worker supports lawyers in much the same capacity as an administrative assistant does corporate management. Legal support workers are typically responsible for anything from filing documents to performing research. The title comes with many hats, and duties span a wide variety of administrative and clerical tasks. They must be familiar with legal terminology, process, and document preparation. It is also beneficial to have a solid grasp on technology and general management and organizational skills. 

Career Outlook for a Legal Support Workers 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, careers that provide support for lawyers – like legal support workers, 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. 

What Can I do with a Paralegal Studies Associate Degree? 

Earning a Paralegal Studies Associate Degree at Bryant & Stratton College can give you immediate opportunities after graduation. With the degree, you’ll have the ability to correctly apply legal terminology in legal documents, draft several types of legal writings, be able to read, analyze, and interpret legal documents and laws, and have IT skills that are applicable to general law office settings. The degree will also give graduates the skills to interact with clients and assist lawyers in a number of settings. 

Where Are Legal Support Workers Employed? 

One of the benefits of having legal support worker skills with the right supporting degrees and certifications is that you have a wide array of settings to work in. While law firms or attorney offices are a primary setting, you can also find jobs in government, civil service, corporations, real estate companies, telecommunications, education, and many other types of organizations.   

What are the Job Responsibilities of Legal Support Workers? 

Legal support workers have any number of responsibilities. Depending on the employment setting and type of industry, you may find that your day-to-day duties vary. Some of the responsibilities in these fields include: 

  • Conducting research – Legal research is often more in-depth than the kind of research people conduct on a daily basis. The purpose of legal research is to identify and retrieve the information necessary to support legal decision making, or to support a case. 
  • Preparing legal documents and correspondence – One essential component of preparing legal documents and correspondence is instilling the principles of clear writing. One-way legal support workers do this is through utilizing an active voice rather than passive. Excellent writing skills become a crucial part of a legal support worker’s job. 
  • Compiling, analyzing, and organizing information – Analyzation, interpretation, and organization are key components of compiling legal information. Logic and prioritizing are both necessary to accomplishing this task as a legal support worker. 
  • Gathering exhibits – Exhibits in a legal setting are physical or documented evidence brought before a jury. Legal support workers may be asked to help gather exhibits for cases. 
  • Draft pleadings and motions – Pleadings and motions are the foundation on which cases are built. Legal support workers may need to have the skills of analyzing the situation and applying legal reasoning to create solid pleadings and motions and fulfill the intent of the document. 
  • Securing affidavits – Many legal support workers have the authorization to secure affidavits. This involves collecting a sworn statement of fact. 
  • Assisting attorneys during a trial – Assisting attorneys during a trial often means helping keep things in motion. Legal support workers may do everything from shuttling files and contacting witnesses to pulling and handing exhibits and keeping detailed notes of the proceedings. 
  • Performing various administrative and clerical tasks – Administrative and clerical tasks may be a part of the legal support worker job description. This can include answering phones, billing, tracking hours, filing, or anything else that falls under general office organization and management. 
  • Identifying appropriate laws, articles, and judicial decisions for cases – Legal support workers will benefit from consistently expanding their legal knowledge. Their duties may include finding and identifying laws, articles, and judicial decisions that support cases. Staying current with legal information and knowing how to navigate the vast resources is essential for success. 

Additional Training and Requirements for Legal Support Workers 

Legal Support Workers will benefit from being prepared for industry requirements. Many legal settings ask for drug tests and background checks for both internships and employment. 

Another common requirement is that the prospective employee has taken the CLA/CP exam. Those who have passed the exam meet the education and experience requirements for certification. It is highly beneficial to have along with the Paralegal Associate Degree. 

Another common expectation for legal support workers is a 40+ hour work week. Many settings will ask workers in the field for additional hours when there are tight deadlines that need to be met. 

Many people that work in legal assisting fields are hired without experience, but with certifications and degrees, and are trained on the job. Another route is internship, which may lead to employment or help to expand job options. 

Learn More About the Paralegal Studies Associate Degree 

A Paralegal Studies Associate Degree can give you many employment options and opportunities. For more insights, please visit our blog

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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