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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.
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    Lawfreq Legal Services
    Affordable freelance paralegal firm in the Irvine area that offers Legal Assistants and Paralegals experienced in working with bankruptcy law and business litigation. We also specialize in working with cases concerning subrogation and toxic tort, appeals, and medical malpractice.
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    Pro Per Legal
    Need help with your deeds transfers, living trust, estate planning, or power of attorney? Our Legal Assistants and Paralegals provide assistance with legal documents and more! Call us in the Irvine area.
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    STANDARD LISTINGS:   PARALEGALS IN/NEAR IRVINE
    United Paralegal Services
    2 reviews: *****
    Tustin, CA 92780
    (714) 730-1599 Write review for this local business

    "got our divorce papers done on time, owner nice lady super professional ..."
    Liberty & Justice
    1 review: *****
    2151 Michelson Dr Ste 232, Irvine, CA 92612
    (949) 863-3036 Write review for this local business

    "there ability to get me through a tough time was a heart warming experience. Thank you all! ..."
    Affordable Document Preparation Services Write review for this local business
    813 Carolina Cir, Corona, CA 92882
    (951) 549-9200  
    If you need a paralegal for assistance with document preparation, call our law firm! We provide the most affordable court room document preparation in the area so you can handle your legal issue confidently.
    Berkeley Lda Services Write review for this local business
    41 Linhaven, Irvine, CA 92602
    (949) 653-7802  
    Eda Rodriguez Write review for this local business
    1420 E Edinger Ave Ste 223, Santa Ana, CA 92705
    (714) 542-1320  
    Instant Solutions Write review for this local business
    17221 E 17th St, Santa Ana, CA 92705
    (714) 210-1662  
    Precise Reporting Service Write review for this local business
    1401 N Tustin Ave Ste 160, Santa Ana, CA 92705
    (714) 647-9099  
    Synnexxus LLC Write review for this local business
    1251 E Dyer Rd, Santa Ana, CA 92705
    (714) 545-3886  
    Affordable Document Preparation Write review for this local business
    1651 E Edinger Ave Ste 100, Santa Ana, CA 92705
    (714) 835-4555  
    Cooper Diane Write review for this local business
    17491 Irvine Blvd, Tustin, CA 92780
    (714) 924-5933  
    F B E Paralegal Services Write review for this local business
    415 W Main St, Tustin, CA 92780
    (714) 573-2809  
    CD Photocopy Svc Write review for this local business
    17371 Irvine Blvd, Tustin, CA 92780
    (714) 544-0730  
    Pulsonc Litigation Network Inc Write review for this local business
    1562 Parkway Loop, Tustin, CA 92780
    (714) 258-7702  
    Living Trusts Write review for this local business
    54 Avignon Ave, Foothill Ranch, CA 92610
    (949) 461-9404  
    Attorney Assisted California Centers Write review for this local business
    1740 W Katella Ave Ste Q, Orange, CA 92867
    (888) 536-9604  
    Orange County Paralegal Write review for this local business
    100 S Chaparral Ct Ste 240, Anaheim, CA 92808
    (714) 299-1616  
    PRO Services of Santa ANA Write review for this local business
    417 S Main St, Santa Ana, CA 92701
    (714) 210-4840  
    Simple Legal Solutions Write review for this local business
    600 W Santa Ana Blvd Ste 114, Santa Ana, CA 92701
    (714) 836-0300  
    Liberty and Justice Write review for this local business
    18022 Cowan Ste 235, Irvine, CA 92614
    (949) 863-3036  
    Sally Low and Associates Write review for this local business
    600 W Santa Ana Blvd Ste 208, Santa Ana, CA 92701
    (714) 834-9032  
    The Law Center Write review for this local business
    850 N Birch St, Santa Ana, CA 92701
    (714) 547-4040  
    Good Guy Registration Service The Write review for this local business
    292 N Tustin St, Orange, CA 92867
    (714) 744-1136  

    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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