What It Takes To Be A Paralegal or Legal Assistant

 

3Thinking about a career being a paralegal? This is one fast growing career field and you can be able to get into this field with a few years of schooling and specialized training. After training you will be able to work in a law firm where you will be doing research, interviewing witnesses, and doing summaries for the courts among other duties. It is a career that you will love. The job outlook for paralegals is growing faster than most jobs.

Training Needed

Many colleges will have classes for paralegal studies. You will learn how to conduct legal research, learn legal software and learn legal terms. You can become a paralegal with an associate degree, or you can go further in school and get a bachelor’s degree.

Job Duties

Paralegals or legal assistants will do a variety of duties they are supporting the lawyers and they will do legal research, draft documents, organize files, interview witnesses. They may have to work overtime sometimes when there is a looming deadline that has to be met.

Skills Needed

Customer service skills are needed as they will come into contact with many clients throughout their shifts. They will have to be able to multi-task as they may be working on several different cases at one time and will have to be able to stay organized and be able to file information. They have to be able to research, and have good communication skills to communicate with the clients and the other staff members.

Essential Tasks a Solo Attorney Can Outsource to a Virtual Legal Assistant

2Are you a solo attorney spending most of your time tending to time-consuming legal administrative tasks? Do you often leave the office exhausted only to recall you haven’t billed a single hour that day? If this sounds like you, you’ll want to continue reading. The good news is you have decided to go solo at an ideal time. With the growth of the internet, and the exploding virtual assistance industry, you can now get the support you need without incurring the costs of a full-time salaried legal assistant. There is a simple two step process, which I recommend you follow if you wish to free up more time to practice law.

First, come to the realization you cannot do it all on your own. Going solo does not have to mean working solo. Once you have reached that conclusion, hire a virtual legal assistant (VLA) to help you manage your law practice.

Legal Administrative Tasks your VLA can Handle

Now that I have your attention, I’m going to list three essential tasks a virtual legal assistant can take off of your to-do list today.

1. Time Tracking & Invoicing

If you are not keeping track of each moment you spend working on your clients’ cases, you are probably losing more money than you’d like to admit. Let a virtual legal assistant keep track of the time you spend on each case. Just email or fax your time sheets to your VLA daily. When it is time to invoice your clients, your VLA can generate your invoices and forward them to your clients for payment.

2. Digital Transcription

Have you finally realized you can get more done when you dictate your letters and pleadings? A virtual legal assistant can transcribe your digital recordings and analog tapes. Just dictate your letters, pleadings or a long list of tasks, and have your VLA transcribe your recordings and deliver them to your inbox. If you want, you can phone-in your dictation to your virtual legal assistant for prompt transcription.

3. Deposition Scheduling

Depositions are essential to most legal matters. However, scheduling depositions can be a headache when you are continuously playing phone tag with the other party. Let your VLA coordinate the deposition with you, the witness, and the other attorney. Your VLA can add the deposition to your calendar, secure a court reporter, reserve the conference room, prepare and mail the deposition notices for you.

When you decided to go solo surely you didn’t expect to carry everything on your shoulders. Delegate those time-consuming legal administrative tasks to a virtual legal assistant, and get back to practicing law. A VLA will help you increase productivity and your billable hours.

Some Tips for A Legal Assistant Resume

A legal assistant can be like a secretary to lawyers or attorneys. With this kind of job, knowledge about laws and court proceedings is essential. It is just like being a lawyer but the only difference is that you do not have the license to talk in court in front of the judge and jury.

If you are applying as a legal assistant on a law firm, make sure that your resume is well established and rich with important information related to the position. Of course, head your resume with personal details such as name, mailing address, and contact particulars like e-mail address and telephone numbers.

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The summary of qualifications should include your objective of getting the post alongside the job description. It will show that you are well aware of what kinds of responsibilities are entailed on this occupation. Employers also seek for constructive and specific tasks you can perform to meet your objectives. For instance, you can tell that as a legal assistant you will be the one preparing briefs, handling appeals, planning and devising work schedules. And if you have any legal assistant degree or units, it will be a key factor. Research and verification about attorney facts is also part of the task.

Any professional background or experience related to being a legal assistant will help the employer assess your abilities and skills as one. After all, experience is the best teacher. The more experience you have, the better. In here, you can put the named of firms or companies you have worked it. And briefly specify the duties and obligations you were expected to perform with these companies. This information will give them a bigger picture, that it, if you are really suited for the position. Your basic knowledge and training will help them decide if you will be one of their assets.