Legal assistants are also called as paralegals; this position came in the early 1960’s. Today civil life increases legal matters, from property titles to dissolution of marriage. Legal assistants or paralegals in other countries are not licensed by their governments. But in United States it is part of their education programs in college. They offered it as Associate Degree Program, a Two-year course in college. Now let’s tackle more about what is the role of a Legal assistant is in the government.
What is a Legal Assistant?
A Legal assistant or paralegal performs a variety of duties for supervising lawyers. They have a big role in the law firm. The Legal assistants or paralegal assists the lawyers in delivering legal services. They are not authorized to give advice to their clients, represent witnesses in the court, or sign any legal documents, unless he/she is certified in the law firm or in the agency he/she is working. The paralegals are highly trained persons in their field of work.
Duties of a Legal Assistant
- The Legal assistant is able to perform preliminary interviews of their clients, and also to their witnesses. But they are not allowed to give advices. By the help of the help of their training, they are ready to work in their field in any branches of the law. Their own interests might be a help for legal assistants to specialize in a certain kind of law.
- The Legal assistant can draft contracts, and some legal documents which are reviewed by their lawyers. The lawyers conforms it to be specified to the requirements of the clients and the law.
- The Legal assistant performs legal researches in the court setting which will help to support the arguments of a prosecuted person.
- The Legal assistant also attends executions of will, depositions, real estate closing, court hearings and trials with the lawyer.
- A Legal assistant or paralegal must be excellent in organizational skills, research skills, good customer service skills, computer skills, and general office and secretarial skills.
Work Condition of a Legal Assistant
- Legal assistants or paralegals are employed by government and companies; they usually work in a 40-hour per week in standard. Legal assistants who work in a law firm sometimes work in very long hours when they have to meet deadlines.
- Legal assistant helps lawyers with their case proceedings, and reduces their workload and stress.
- Other countries don’t have the same job description of a legal assistant. They don’t give certificates, and had least duties and responsibilities in their work place.
Educational Requirements of a Legal Assistant
- One can acquire an Associate Program in paralegal studies. In some countries this program is not offered. You may get a Bachelor’s degree in other field and start career training as a legal assistant.
- Aside from the educational requirements, a legal assistant must have certain skills like good knowledge of fundamentals of law, good communication skills, and good analytical skills.
Occupation and Progress of a Legal Assistant
A Legal assistant may be particularly versed in different branches of the law since there are many branches. They gather important data and update the case progress. Some of the law firms gives acknowledge to the legal assistants, such as loyalty award and bonuses to their wages. As the gain much experience, legal assistants are given more varied tasks. They do most of their work at desks of the offices and law libraries. Occasionally, they are task to travel to gather necessary information.