A legal assistant has a lot of very important responsibilities that help enhance the justice system as a whole. They are trained individuals who typically have certifications from government or state agencies, who provide support for attorneys and law firms. While the legal assistant is not permitted to give out legal advice, represent others in court, or put their signature to any legal documentation, they do have a lot of crucial responsibilities that make attorneys’ jobs much easier.
When you obtain your degree as a legal assistant and become employed by a law firm, you will be assigned a variety of tasks, some consistent but some vary from day to day. Most legal assistants will draft contracts and various other legal documentation. After this is performed, the attorney will go over these forms and contracts to make sure everything that is required by law is included in the document.
They are often responsible for performing legal research and provide support that will help with client arguments and legal briefs in court. Many attorneys ask their legal assistant to perform interviews of witnesses or clients. You may be provided with more responsibility and opportunity depending on which type of law you practice. If you are employed with a divorce lawyer you will most likely develop experience in drawing up divorce decrees and parenting agreements.
Traits of a Legal Assistant
In order to be a legal assistant there some traits that you should embody that will help you to be the most effective assistant you can be. You will be required to have great research and writing skills as well as a great attention to detail in order to make proper document edits. Exceptional customer service skills are also a must as you will be talking to a lot of clients on a one-on-one basis. You must have experience in the area of law in which you wish to practice.
Basic skills such as computers, organizational, and secretarial and office skills, will come in handy when you are preparing documentation for your attorney.
A Thriving Career
If you enjoy learning about different aspects of law and would love the opportunity to help prepare cases and help clients, this is the right career path for you. Your first step to becoming a legal assistant is to find a degree or certificate program that will provide you with the knowledge that you will need to be successful in your career.
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