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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.
    MAP
    Write review for this local business

    STANDARD LISTINGS:   PARALEGALS IN/NEAR BOSTON
    Paralegal Resource Center Incorporated Write review for this local business
    6 Bowdoin St, Boston, MA 02114
    (617) 742-1939  
    Paralegal Temps Write review for this local business
    4 Faneuil Hall Market Pl, Boston, MA 02109
    (617) 742-1939  
    Working For The People Write review for this local business
    19 1/2 Dacia St, Dorchester, MA 02125
    (857) 277-2755  
    Paraforms Corp Write review for this local business
    37 Heard St, Chelsea, MA 02150
    (617) 466-1870  
    Rodriguez Multi Service Two Write review for this local business
    5 Erie St, Dorchester, MA 02121
    (617) 379-2385  
    Mahoney Criminall Defense Group Write review for this local business
    545 Concord Ave Ste 27, Cambridge, MA 02138
    (617) 492-0055  
    Parafile Write review for this local business
    37 Heard St, Chelsea, MA 02150
    (617) 884-3434  
    Domingo R Almonte Jr Write review for this local business
    125 Commercial St, Lynn, MA 01905
    (781) 599-3633  
    Copley Court Reporting Inc Write review for this local business
    319 Lynnway Ste 308, Lynn, MA 01901
    (781) 268-0740  
    Lemons & Associates Certified Legal Nurse Consulta Write review for this local business
    23 Kennedy Dr, Randolph, MA 02368
    (857) 472-2429  
    Northshore Paralegal Write review for this local business
    130 Centre St Ste 3, Danvers, MA 01923
    (978) 750-6020  
    Spinale Paralegal Services Write review for this local business
    6 Broad St, Danvers, MA 01923
    (978) 921-5700  
    Document Research LLC Write review for this local business
    11 Chestnut Ct, Andover, MA 01810
    (978) 475-8810  
    Docangel Inc Write review for this local business
    93 Edgewater Dr, Framingham, MA 01702
    (508) 875-1244  
    Actual Solutions Write review for this local business
    420 Common St Ste 201, Lawrence, MA 01840
    (978) 685-2690  
    Nunez Services LLC Write review for this local business
    60 Island St Ste 29, Lawrence, MA 01840
    (978) 258-1856  
    Stockwell Records Resrch Write review for this local business
    9 Michael Ln, Sterling, MA 01564
    (888) 853-8883  
    Evidox Corp Write review for this local business
    170 Westminster St, Providence, RI 02903
    (401) 274-1399  
    Dimariano Eugene Law Office of Write review for this local business
    157 Portsmouth Ave Ste 101, Stratham, NH 03885
    (603) 773-0162  
    Constant Insurance Write review for this local business
    34 Rodney French Blvd, New Bedford, MA 02744
    (508) 996-5600  
    The Oliver Group Write review for this local business
    183 Great Hill Rd, East Sandwich, MA 02537
    (508) 833-8882  
    Paralegal Services LLC Write review for this local business
    1216 Main St, Coventry, RI 02816
    (401) 828-2316  
    All Hours Mobile Notary Write review for this local business
    40 Pine St, Rochester, NH 03867
    (603) 948-1071  
    Professional Paralegal Services Inc Write review for this local business
    655 Tinkham Rd, Wilbraham, MA 01095
    (413) 596-9795  

    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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