The roles and responsibilities of a legal assistant are primarily focused on office tasks, but additional tasks can be added to your workload. Here`s a look at the expectations for this particular job: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary for paralegals and paralegals in 2020 was $52,920 per year, or $25.44 per hour. As we discovered, paralegals support law firms by working on behalf of lawyers with other team members – from paralegals to lawyers. But what exactly does a legal assistant do? If your firm uses Clio Manage, adding additional users such as legal assistants to your practice management workflows (here`s a simple step-by-step guide) makes collaboration on administrative tasks such as invoicing, scheduling, and document management seamless and efficient. Clio Manage allows you to add users as non-lawyers, and you can also customize their permissions. While these statistics give a general idea of the average salary of a legal assistant, it is important to note that the BLS does not differentiate between the two roles. However, Indeed`s data shows that paralegals tend to earn less per year than paralegals. The average annual salary for a paralegal in the United States is $44,229, compared to $51,239 for a paralegal.
What can paralegals do? While paralegals cannot practice law or provide legal advice, they may take on more law-specific tasks for lawyers. Examples include interacting with legal clients, preparing legal documents, conducting interviews, assisting with court proceedings, and more. Paralegals generally do not require formal training beyond a high school diploma or GED. However, many are pursuing additional legal studies (e.g. a legal assistant certificate) or gaining legal training in the workplace. Paralegals and legal assistants should have computer and technical knowledge as well as strong analytical, communicative and organizational skills. As described in the previous section, legal assistants perform routine tasks on behalf of lawyers. For law firms where lawyers spend a lot of time on administrative work, hiring a legal assistant can improve the efficiency of the law firm. A legal assistant may remove these administrative tasks from a lawyer`s task list.
Lawyers can then spend more time on billable work. The Legal Assistant performs administrative duties to assist the Chief Legal Officer and the Legal Service. A legal assistant must be able to juggle multiple tasks at once, have excellent communication skills, exercise good judgment, and keep records and procedures confidential. Paralegals and paralegals are lawyers who support the work of lawyers – both add value to a law firm. But they are not the same. Hiring a paralegal can be an effective solution for law firms that need help with substantive legal work. A paralegal also costs less than another lawyer. If your firm is struggling with lawyers who are overburdened with essential legal tasks, few billable hours, or dissatisfied clients and customer service complaints, you may benefit from working with a paralegal. More than a name, there is a difference between a paralegal and a paralegal. Law firms need to understand “what a legal assistant is.” By understanding the different roles (and responsibilities that come with them), lawyers can make a more informed decision as they build their teams to grow their law firms. Legal assistants assist lawyers in a variety of tasks, including legal research, document preparation and review, communicating with clients, preparing for hearings, trials and meetings, and organizing and maintaining records. A high school diploma is required to become a paralegal, and most paralegals have an associate`s degree or certificate in paralegal studies.
Legal assistants are usually highly organized and detail-oriented and have strong communication skills. While these rules are good general guidelines, specific codes and rules for working with paralegals may vary from province or territory to jurisdiction. With that in mind, it`s important to review your state`s rules and regulations and comply with how lawyers can work with paralegals (and the tasks they can assign). No matter how you find a freelancer, it`s also important to make sure you have a good process to make it easier for a legal assistant to work with your business. Effective law firm processes are especially important if your legal assistant works remotely. Adding paralegals to your cloud-based practice management system makes it easy to collaborate with legal assistants, whether they`re in the office or remotely. A legal assistant may work with one or more lawyers at the same time, depending on the size of a law firm and the number of cases handled. If you are considering hiring an independent legal assistant, there are two general lines of entry: Legal assistants play a vital role in the day-to-day operations of the firm or legal department. They assist in case management, document preparation, scheduling, communication with clients and court officials, and meeting the needs of lawyers.
Legal assistants must have excellent communication skills and great attention to detail. You should also feel comfortable working independently and being part of a team. If you`ve ever wondered, “What is a legal assistant?” you`re not alone. Although the term may seem explicit, paralegals are not the same as paralegals. Since many paralegals focus on one area of expertise, law firms may find a paralegal with experience working with lawyers in their specific area of law. Paralegals, also known as paralegals, are lawyers who help individual lawyers or legal teams prepare and prioritize legal documents. They conduct legal research, compile legal documents and evidence, facilitate interviews, and provide support before and during court proceedings. Working with an external paralegal to take over the substantive work and an independent legal assistant can ease the workload of a lawyer. Lawyers can recover many billable hours that would have been lost on administrative tasks. In addition, lawyers can spend more time on substantive legal work, growing their business, or taking care of clients.
The best thing about working with an independent legal assistant is that you don`t have the hassle of hiring a full-time employee. While paralegals certainly have a lot to offer law firms, they fulfill a different role in a law firm. Paralegals focus on substantive legal work on behalf of supervising lawyers. Conversely, although legal assistants also work on behalf of lawyers, they focus more on administrative support tasks. This distinction is more important than it seems at first glance. Law firms that don`t recognize the unique roles of paralegals may miss out on the value paralegals can bring to a law firm. Typically, a paralegal`s resume includes a partner`s degree or a legal assistant certification. During these programs, one learns legal terminology, the purpose of certain legal documents, law firm practices, word processing, time management and files.