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Questions to Ask a Legal Assistant

Legal support staff provide assistance to lawyers to ease their workload. If you are planning to hire a legal assistant, there are a few questions you should consider asking first.

  • What areas of law do you have experience with?
    Legal assistants often specialize in specific areas of the law. You will want to find someone who is familiar with the area of law you handle, so they will be prepared to work with your cases. For example, if you need help with cases dealing with corporate tax law, hiring a paralegal whose background is in that area will probably be a better choice than hiring a paralegal who has focused on personal injury cases.

  • What type of services have you provided in the past?
    It is a good idea to ask what type of assignments an individual has handled in the past, so you can determine if they have the experience you need. Job responsibilities vary between law offices, and many legal assistant positions have overlapping duties. For example, a law clerk or legal secretary may be responsible for completing research and preparing drafts of legal documents, much like a paralegal.

  • Can you provide references from previous employers?
    Speaking with lawyers the legal assistant has worked for in the past will help you to gauge the quality of work you can expect.

  • Do you have any certifications or belong to any professional associations?
    Although most states do not have licensing requirements to become a paralegal, legal secretary, or law clerk, there are professional associations that offer certification and registration programs. Also, some vocational schools offer programs for legal assistants.
  • National Federation of Paralegal Associations
    Our professional association assists the legal community across the U.S. Whether you're looking for a career as a legal assistant or you're looking for paralegal resources our association can help.
    Write review for this local business

    Smart Little People, LLC Write review for this local business
    Po Box 93, Atlanta, GA 30301
    (470) 331-5551  
    Naomi LeBlanc Write review for this local business
    1280 W Peachtree St NW, Atlanta, GA 30309
    (678) 235-2472  
    Themis Litigation Support Write review for this local business
    2 Collier Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30309
    (404) 351-2000  
    A.s.a.p. Notary Write review for this local business
    Po Box 110011, Atlanta, GA 30311
    (404) 984-3121  
    Trialgraphix Write review for this local business
    3520 Piedmont Rd NE Ste 360, Atlanta, GA 30305
    (404) 467-9290  
    Legal Services Write review for this local business
    165 Dekalb Industrial Way Ste B, Decatur, GA 30030
    (404) 377-7441  
    International Paralegal Management Association Write review for this local business
    314 Somerlane Pl, Avondale Estates, GA 30002
    (404) 292-4762  
    Matthews Process Servers of Atlanta, Inc. Write review for this local business
    4815 Price St, Forest Park, GA 30297
    (888) 308-4084  
    IJB Enterprises, LLC Write review for this local business
    4360 Chamblee Dunwoody Rd, Atlanta, GA 30341
    (678) 717-8332  
    Litigation Presentation Inc Write review for this local business
    3300 Northeast Expy NE, Atlanta, GA 30341
    (770) 451-1122  
    The Carlile Group, LLC Write review for this local business
    3426 Keswick Dr, Atlanta, GA 30341
    (763) 923-5846  
    Baxter Nesmith & Fleming LLC Write review for this local business
    Northside Tower 6065 Roswell Rd., Suite 222, Atlanta, GA 30328
    (404) 809-3423  
    Cedar Document Technologies Write review for this local business
    1 Ravinia Dr Ste 200, Atlanta, GA 30346
    (770) 804-0713  
    Lien Research Write review for this local business
    6160 Peachtree Dunwoody Rd, Atlanta, GA 30328
    (770) 350-5070  
    National Center for Paralegal Training Write review for this local business
    5375 Chamblee Dunwoody Rd, Atlanta, GA 30338
    (770) 730-8553  
    Tmw Paralegal & Notary Service Write review for this local business
    280 Cobb Parkway S, Ste. C 109, Marietta, GA 30060
    (770) 319-1026  
    Rgp Attorney Services Write review for this local business
    63 Ayers Ave NE, Marietta, GA 30060
    (770) 499-8588  
    Georgia Paralegal Services Inc Write review for this local business
    1554 Graves Road, Norcross, GA 30093
    (770) 696-4024  
    Georgiaparalegal Write review for this local business
    3445 Winfair Place, Marietta, GA 30062
    (770) 597-7209  
    Russian Legal PRO Write review for this local business
    97 Gloster Mill Way, Lawrenceville, GA 30044
    (678) 719-1680  
    Atlanta Paralegal Write review for this local business
    255 Honeysuckle Circle #1004, Lawrenceville, GA 30045
    (678) 967-4720  
    Contract Administrative & Legal Assistants "CALA" Write review for this local business
    Coldwater Dr, Covington, GA 30016
    (678) 462-7618  
    Georgia Paralegal Services Write review for this local business
    945 Old Magnolia Trail, Canton, GA 30115
    (770) 881-5859  
    Vital Signs & Graphics Write review for this local business
    5145 Shiloh Rd Ste 113, Cumming, GA 30040
    (770) 889-4005  

    A paralegal is more than just a secretary, although they are sometimes called that or legal assistants. Most have a paralegal degree or other professional qualification. Although they do not attend law school, most do have a bachelor's degree. At minimum, a paralegal must have attended a certification program.

    Individuals should seek out training courses approved by the American Bar Association. At entry level, paralegals are likely to be employed as a paralegal clerk. Clerks perform the most basic of duties while receiving further training and guidance. Working for a larger firm or a corporate legal department is likely to require a bachelor's degree, or exception by the association.

    A legal secretary needs to be highly skilled at research. The use of law libraries and the internet is vital. They are required to prepare documents, which is also often computerized. An experienced assistant may be given much leeway to research and investigate supporting documentation for a case.

    Paralegals are sometimes required to accompany lawyers to the court room. They need to be aware of court procedures and able to understand the requirements of different kinds of litigation.

    Paralegal managers supervise paralegals in large firms or legal departments. They may hand out assignments and supervise the work of more junior colleagues. Very small firms, however, may only have one or two paralegals working for them. Many paralegals, like lawyers, specialize in one particular area. For example, they may train in accident or criminal law.

    Essentially, a paralegal is an administrative professional, but one with duties that cross over into the lower levels of the work of a lawyer. They are essential to the smooth running of law firms and legal departments and a growth area.

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