There are degrees and certifications available for both paralegals and legal secretaries, and as mentioned before, there is some overlap in terminology. Some law firms offer on-the-job training for people with no formal education or legal experience. In addition, paralegals are able to specialize in certain areas such as criminal law, family law, real estate law and immigration law. Duties of Paralegals Vs. Legal Assistants. … This piece of ad content was created by Rasmussen College to support its educational programs. Approximately 58 percent of paralegal job postings ask for three to five years of experience, with 35 percent of job postings being entry level, requiring zero to two years of experience.1 Being a legal secretary is more suitable for those with less experience working in a law firm, with 44 percent of job postings at the entry level (0–2 years of experience).2. Easily apply to jobs with an Indeed Resume, Active Listening Skills: Definition and Examples, Conducting interviews with the client and maintaining contact with them, Conducting investigations and performing legal research, Drafting documents, pleadings and correspondence, Attending legal proceedings like depositions, administrative hearings and trials with the lawyer, Summarizing testimony, depositions and interrogatories, Creating and signing correspondence where it's clearly indicated that it was created by the paralegal and doesn't contain legal advice or independent legal opinions, Drafting and proofreading legal documents and correspondence, Managing client billing by preparing and sending out bills to and also resolving billing issues, Collecting and organizing evidence and legal documents for the lawyer to review, communicating with witnesses and clients to schedule interviews, depositions and meetings, Organizing and maintaining documents in filing systems, both paper and electronic, Offering general administrative support, such as making travel arrangements for the lawyer and maintaining their calendar, Paralegal vs. Legal Assistant: Here's What You Need to Know. They are often the secondary point of contact for clients after the lawyer assigned to a case. Legal assistants are in appreciable demand by both the law and enterprise trades, with good prospects for development and probably good salaries. The legal assistant's work is more administrative. They also help to schedule meetings with clients, witnesses and other parties for both the lawyer and paralegal. Legal Administrative Assistant a.k.a. These useful active listening examples will help address these questions and more. The contact that legal assistants have with clients is far more limited and primarily consists of administrative tasks like taking client messages, scheduling meetings and collecting information from clients. Additionally, some employers may prefer to hire candidates who have a two-year associate's degree or who have completed a certificate program. Also referred to as: Paralegal , Experienced, Paralegal / Legal Assistant II Requirements and Responsibilities. Researches and analyzes law sources such as statutes, recorded judicial decisions, legal articles, treaties, constitutions, and legal codes. Occasionally, they may travel to gather information, collect and review documents, accompany … The primary function of paralegals is to assist attorneys in the delivery of legal services. A legal assistant is a professional who's responsible for performing administrative and customer service duties within a law office. In addition, paralegals are able to specialize in certain areas such as criminal law, family law, real estate law and immigration law. Find out what the next step is in our article, “I Want to be a Paralegal … Now What?”. A paralegal and a clerk are basically the same, although in bigger firms it specifically refers to a person acting as basically a paralegal for a seasonal period and in smaller firms it refers to the law student who does some paralegal work but mostly runs up documents to the court registries and copies subpoena packets. Has an educational background in law, either as an associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, or certification from an accredited institution. Now we’re down to the most important consideration for many job seekers: salary potential. The vast majority of paralegals have at least a college degree. Legal secretaries perform more administrative tasks than paralegals. However, they're prohibited from competing tasks like representing clients, offering legal advice or other activities that are considered practicing law. The role of a Paralegal or Legal Assistant is essential for an attorney as they cannot go behind every detail. Indeed is not a career or legal advisor and does not guarantee job interviews or offers. Paralegal vs. Legal Assistant: Salary. Paralegal II assists and supports attorneys with research for trail or due diligence. For instance, both positions are responsible for helping lawyers prepare for trial and conduct investigations. Some also perform work outside of law firms. Legal secretaries, on the other hand, do not necessarily need any education after completing high school. One of the key differences between a legal assistant and a paralegal is the minimum level of education required in order to be employed as such. There is no obligation to enroll. What is active listening, why is it important and how can you improve this critical skill? A typical legal team is made up of a variety of individuals who fill a number of roles, including lawyers, paralegals, legal assistants, legal secretaries, and other staff members. We often think of lawyers as the most common professionals in the legal field. A staff member of a law office or firm, usually performing certain clerical tasks without any training as a paralegal, but… 05.25.2020. In such personal matters, a paralegal or legal assistant, or attorney communication is necessary. Junior Attorney – Know the Differences and Pick the Right Professional Before Hiring or Contracting Posted on January 8, 2018 by EricEsquire It’s a good sign when the volume of legal work at a company increases to the point where another legal resource is needed, either permanently or temporarily. She believes the power of the written word can help educate and assist students on their way to a rewarding education. In comparison, the 2016 median annual wage for paralegals was $49,500.3 This salary can increase depending on the employer—for example, paralegals who work in corporate settings can expect to make more than those who work for non-profits that may have limited resources. Legal studies is a broad term that may sometimes include paralegal under its wide umbrella. External links provided on rasmussen.edu are for reference only. Depending on the area in which they choose to work, their duties will vary. Because of their extensive work on cases, paralegals are able to bill clients for their work, whereas legal assistants cannot. Therefore, even though the title is RN/Paralegal (another term for Nurse Paralegal), the responsibilities are appropriate for a legal nurse consultant. Although paralegals often do some of the same tasks a lawyer does, they are always considered a non-lawyer; there are typically limits to the extent of the legal duties this person can be given responsibility to complete. There is some overlap in skills between legal assistants and paralegals. This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience. legal assistant Paralegal is a term that is used in most jurisdictions to describe a non-lawyer who assists lawyers in their legal work. A legal assistant is a legal secretary. The titles “legal assistant” and “paralegal” were once synonymous. 3Salary data represents national, averaged earnings for the occupations listed and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. Trial and conduct investigations prohibited from competing tasks like representing clients,,... Paralegal 's duties visit www.rasmussen.edu/degrees for a legal assistant vs paralegal ’ s degree paralegals if are. 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