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How to Become a Certified Legal Assistant? The following article aims to inform the readers that the paralegals or the legal assistants are responsible for performing significant and specially delegated legal tasks. The job market is very conducive to the paralegals as they assist the lawyers in performing many important tasks related to the trial cases.

Those individuals who wish to pursue a legal career, but do not want to spend time or other resources that is required to attend the law schools may choose to become a legal assistant. A legal assistant is also called a paralegal. The paralegals play a very significant role when it comes to delivery of legal services. A lawyer employs a legal assistant in a corporation or law office for performing specially delegated legal tasks. Legal assistants perform research related to various cases especially those that are intricate. They are responsible for ensuring that all facts and relevant information has been taken into consideration while checking the materials of a case. At times they even write suggestion reports on the basis of the reports contained in the track files or other important credentials. The paralegals are responsible for writing up legal arguments, obtaining affidavits, motions and assisting the lawyers in the trial cases. In a time when law firms were devising new ideas to be more cost effective there came about the growth of the training program for the legal assistants or the paralegals. Today there are several such programs held in the business schools, community colleges, universities and institutions. The training programs for the paralegals range from a two year course, in which the students can earn an approximate amount of about 60-70 credits. The students can also earn an Associate’s Degree. In this case paralegal education becomes a major course study for the legal assistants. Some of the institutions require the candidates to possess a Graduate or Master’s degree in this field. Candidates with knowledge of paralegal studies and legal administration are preferred.

There are many cases where the legal professionals have been hired directly from the college with little or almost no experience. It is also good to know that the job prospects increase if you have gained knowledge in the field of legal profession. In case you go for proper training methods to become a legal assistant, you may have to study the following subjects: • • • • • • •

Legal Research and Writing Litigation Advanced Legal Research Constitutional Liberties Criminal Evidence Introduction to Paralegal Training Criminal Law

Over the years, the profession of a legal assistant has been on a rise. It has been estimated by the Department of Labor that employment in the field of a legal assistant will grow up to 21 to 35 percent in the coming years. In the year 2002, there were an estimated amount of 200,000 paralegal jobs. The legal assistants are mostly hired by the corporate legal divisions and private sectors. Legal assistants are also hired by government agencies. The annual income of paralegals is estimated to be between $30,000 and $48,000. The annual salaries of the legal assistants vary depending upon their expertise, qualification, and skills. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics states that the job of a legal assistant has excellent career prospects. The paralegals get employment not only in the private law firms and the corporate houses but also in insurance companies, small and large legal departments, real estate offices, etc.

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How to Become a Certified Legal Assistant?