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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 HARRISON
    1 On 1 Divorce
    1 review: *****
    606 Melrose Ave, Bronx, NY 10455
    (718) 292-4235 Write review for this local business

    "this company took my money and didn't provide any service suing now in small claims court, and they appear to have skipped town! ..."
    Nj Paralegal Services Write review for this local business
    Po Box 5143, Old Bridge, NJ 08857
    (877) 919-5342  
    We specialize in legal document preparation as paralegals. We can aid you with paper work for uncontested divorces, name changes, and immigration forms.
    Imm Legal Services Write review for this local business
    60 Prince St, Elizabeth, NJ 07208
    (908) 469-8757  
    McKay B Write review for this local business
    284 Secaucus Rd, Secaucus, NJ 07094
    (201) 348-8162  
    C and W Paralegal Services Write review for this local business
    517 John F. Kennedy Blvd #2, Bayonne, NJ 07002
    (551) 225-1943  
    Anderson Paralegal Services Write review for this local business
    P O Box 647, New York, NY 10108
    (646) 537-2534  
    We The People of 14 St Write review for this local business
    219 W 14th St, New York, NY 10011
    (212) 633-2200  
    Virtual Paralegal The Write review for this local business
    14 Wall St, New York, NY 10005
    (212) 618-1227  
    Blumberg Excelsior, Inc. Write review for this local business
    62 White St Fl 2, New York, NY 10013
    (212) 431-5000  
    Legal Aid Society Write review for this local business
    49 Thomas St, New York, NY 10013
    (212) 227-0152  
    U S Document Retrieval Write review for this local business
    11 Park Pl Rm 1512, New York, NY 10007
    (212) 608-3038  
    IKON Office Solutions Write review for this local business
    40 Broad St Rm 600, New York, NY 10004
    (212) 422-2859  
    Command Financial Write review for this local business
    75 Varick St Ste 1404, New York, NY 10013
    (646) 963-2243  
    Evolution Paralegals Write review for this local business
    450 Lex #2675, New York, NY 10163
    (888) 546-9818  
    Capital Plus Legal Support Write review for this local business
    7 Dey St Rm 207, New York, NY 10007
    (212) 233-8377  
    New York Paralegal School Write review for this local business
    299 Broadway Ste 200, New York, NY 10007
    (212) 349-8800  
    Paralegal Classes At New York Paralegal School Write review for this local business
    299 Broadway Frnt 2, New York, NY 10007
    (212) 349-8800  
    Virtus Capital Write review for this local business
    14 Wall St Fl 28, New York, NY 10005
    (212) 785-1706  
    Thorndike Paralegal Svcs Limited Write review for this local business
    250 W 57th St, New York, NY 10107
    (212) 586-1253  
    Judicial Paralegal Svce Write review for this local business
    360 7th Ave, New York, NY 10001
    (800) 244-4399  
    Paralegal Support Svcs Inc Write review for this local business
    53 W 36th St, New York, NY 10018
    (212) 736-1684  
    M P S Group Turnkey Legal Center Write review for this local business
    150 W 30th St, New York, NY 10001
    (212) 564-0408  
    Discoveryworks Legale Inc Write review for this local business
    57 E 11th St Fl 2, New York, NY 10003
    (212) 897-5805  
    Jewelers Vigilance Committee Write review for this local business
    25 W 45th St Ste 1406, New York, NY 10036
    (212) 997-2002  

    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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