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Legal Assistant Overview

Have you ever wondered why Lady Justice wears a blindfold? When your friends have a disagreement do you naturally step in to arbitrate? Do you have a deep respect for the letter of the law and the spirit of objectivity?

You just may be cut out for a career in legislation. If you are a good communicator, highly organized and enjoy secretarial work, you are likely to enjoy working as a legal assistant. Note to self: must love paperwork!

Responsibilities

  • Maintain confidentiality. Be prepared to handle sensitive information such as financial records. Legal assistants should be responsible and have a working moral compass.
  • Greet clients and answer phones. This will be part of your daily routine, so you’ll want to maintain a professional appearance and be a great communicator.
  • Stay organized. You will likely be called upon to file evidence, manage a calendar, and schedule appointments for court dates or meetings with various clients.

Skills

  • Basic secretarial skills such as typing and filing are a must.
  • Being organized and detail-oriented. Don’t forget to dot your i’s and cross those t’s.
  • Communication and management skills. Approach every situation with the appropriate level of formality.
  • Knowledge of legal and billing software. This may be learned on the job, but going in with an ability to easily pick up new software skills on the fly will certainly give you a leg up.

Experience

If you are an organized researcher, a good planner, and are dependable and responsible you will likely make a great legal assistant. Having a background in a specific area of law may qualify you as a special legal secretary in a certain area such as family law or contract law.

Knowing how to read a summons or a subpoena can easily be learned on the job, but familiarizing yourself with various legal documents will give you an edge going into an interview.


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