Paralegal, Legal Secretary and Legal Assistant Training
A paralegal or legal assistant is often the lifeblood of any legal office or firm. Almost all the research and preparation for hearings, trials, and corporate meetings are handled by paralegals. Depending on the employer, a paralegal or legal assistant may help draft legal pleadings, contracts, mortgages, separation agreements, instruments of trust, tax returns, estate plans and wills. In addition, they help coordinate the activities of other employees and maintain financial office records. Most colleges offer an associate's or certificate degree after completion of a paralegal program. For those who want to pursue lifelong careers in this particular field, a bachelor's degree or higher can greatly aid in career advancement.
Private law firms, insurance companies, corporate legal departments, banks, real estate and title insurance firms, and public defender's offices all hire paralegals. Demand for paralegal and legal assistants is expected to grow, as more and more people require legal help and advice. Pay scales in this occupation vary depending on factors like education, training, experience, the type and size of employer, and the geographic location. According to available data, the average annual earnings (including bonuses) for a paralegal and legal assistant are around $40,000 a year.