Skills You Need to Succeed As a Legal Assistant

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Whether you are interested in becoming a legal assistant or you already work in this field, there are certain qualities you need to possess to succeed. In this article, you will learn about the tasks that you can expect to perform as a legal assistant. Hopefully, you will also be able to identify some skills that you will need to develop in order to become successful in your career.

Administrative duties

Typically, these employees work in a law office. Their duties include assisting attorneys with administrative tasks, performing legal research, and preparing court documents. Their responsibilities may vary depending on the needs of the law firm.

They may also help with client billing. They also help manage schedules and make arrangements for meetings and travel. They may take notes in a courtroom. The majority of these positions are in private law firms, government agencies, or finance companies. Some are in banks and insurance companies.

They must have a thorough knowledge of the legal system. They must have excellent written communication skills, as well as excellent research skills. They must be detail-oriented and able to meet deadlines. They must also be able to prioritize tasks.

Research

Generally, a Legal Assistant can perform a variety of tasks. They can assist lawyers with research, draft legal documents, and even handle some of the office’s non-billable tasks. This can free attorneys up to focus on more important matters. They can also assist in expanding a law firm’s reach.

Legal research assistants are likely to be more technically savvy than their peers. They should be able to check out a legal database, explore legal precedents, and complete a plethora of internet research tasks. They may also investigate a case’s legal merits, such as its admissibility, or identify factors that may mitigate a claim.

One of the more common reasons for the increase in legal assistants is the rise in the number of cases. This influx has spawned a host of related jobs, including court clerks, paralegals, and legal secretaries.

Drafting legal documents

Developing legal documents can be intimidating. Thankfully, there are several tools that make the process easier. Some of these tools are free and others may require a fee.

Using a software tool to write a legal document can make the process simpler and more accurate. These tools can be found on the web. Some of them may be owned by the lawyer’s firm and some of them are publicly available.

Using a drafting tool like this can help you avoid costly errors. It also helps you identify potential problems, like missing information or inconsistencies.

Aside from checking for the most obvious mistakes, these apps can also tell you how to proofread your documents and even read them out loud. They can have a free version, but you will likely need to pay for the full version to get all the features.

Communication with clients

Getting in front of a client and communicating effectively can mean the difference between success and failure. In fact, a whopping 82% of clients will terminate their business relationship if they feel like their lawyer doesn’t adequately communicate with them.

One of the best ways to communicate with your clients is to set the right expectations. Let them know how long you will be on the phone and what they should expect in exchange.

Another tip is to be open and receptive to feedback. If a client is unhappy, it is important to know so you can rectify the situation as quickly as possible.

It is also good practice to answer all calls on time. This will allow you to focus on your more important matters.

Advancement opportunities

Those interested in pursuing an advanced career in the legal field can find a number of opportunities. Many potential employers prefer applicants with certification. There are also schools that offer courses in legal certification.

Obtaining a paralegal degree may be the best way to advance your career in this field. An associate’s degree in paralegal studies can be completed in about two years. Depending on the program, you may be able to complete an internship to gain experience.

To succeed as a legal assistant, you must have a thorough understanding of the law. You must also have excellent communication skills. You must be able to prepare legal documentation and report your findings in written and spoken form. You must be able to research and understand different laws and legal databases.

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