Paralegals and legal assistants assist help lawyers by investigating facts, preparing legal documents, or researching legal precedent. Conduct research to support a legal proceeding, formulate defense or initiate legal action.

  • Prepare affidavits or other documents, such as legal correspondence, and organize and maintain documents in paper or electronic filing system.
  • Prepare legal documents, including briefs, pleadings, appeals, wills, contracts, and real estate closing statements.
  • Prepare for trial by performing tasks such as organizing exhibits.
  • Investigate facts and law of cases and search pertinent sources, such as public records and internet sources, to determine causes of action and to prepare cases.
  • Meet with clients and other professionals to discuss details of case.
  • File pleadings with court clerk.
  • Gather and analyze research data, such as statutes, decisions, and legal articles, codes, and documents.
  • Direct and coordinate law office activity, including delivery of subpoenas.
  • Call upon witnesses to testify at hearing.
  • Arbitrate disputes between parties and assist in the real estate closing process, such as by reviewing title searches.
  • Keep and monitor legal volumes to ensure that law library is up-to-date.
  • Appraise and inventory real and personal property for estate planning.
Work Context
  • Electronic Mail — 100% responded "Every day".
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 97% responded "Every day".
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 83% responded "Every day".
  • Spend Time Sitting — 84% responded "Continually or almost continually".
  • Telephone — 81% responded "Every day".
  • Letters and Memos — 72% responded "Every day".
  • Contact With Others — 79% responded "Constant contact with others".
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Work Activities
  • Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
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Detailed Work Activities
  • Prepare legal documents.
  • Evaluate information related to legal matters in public or personal records.
  • Research relevant legal materials to aid decision making.
  • Represent the interests of clients in legal proceedings.
  • Coordinate legal schedules or activities.
  • Maintain the order of legal documents.
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Knowledge

Clerical
  • Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
English Language
  • Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Law and Government
  • Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
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Skills

Reading Comprehension
  • Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Active Listening
  • Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Writing
  • Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Speaking
  • Talking to others to convey information effectively.
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Abilities

Written Comprehension
  • The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Oral Comprehension
  • The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression
  • The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Written Expression
  • The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
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Personality

People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Achievement/Effort
  • Persistence
  • Initiative
  • Leadership
  • Cooperation
  • Concern for Others
  • Social Orientation
  • Self Control
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Technology

You might use software like this on the job:

Spreadsheet software
  • Microsoft Excel Hot Technology
  • Spreadsheet software
Data base user interface and query software
  • Microsoft Access Hot Technology
  • Data entry software Hot Technology
  • Saga Practice Manager
  • Relativity e-Discovery
  • Relational database software
  • Practice management software PMS
  • TrialWorks
  • Corporate Focus Solium Shareworks
  • Bridgeway eCounsel
  • LexisNexis Time Matters
  • LexisNexis CodeMaster
  • LexisNexis CaseMap
  • Fund Software ATIDS
Office suite software
  • Microsoft Office Hot Technology
  • Google Drive Hot Technology
  • Corel WordPerfect
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Education

Associate's Degree (or other 2-year degree) or
Bachelor's Degree
usually needed

Get started on your career:

Job Outlook

New job opportunities are very likely in the future.
Salary
$52,920
$32,900
$85,160