Paralegal and Legal Studies CareersLegal Assistant Program
A Legal Assistant (Paralegal) performs legal research, assists in gathering facts, prepares documents, and does general administrative work at the direction and under the supervision of a lawyer. The skills of the Legal Assistant are such that the work performed would otherwise have to be accomplished by a licensed attorney. Graduates of this Program are prepared to assist attorneys in the delivery of legal services, and employment positions may be found in private law firms, courts, corporations and businesses, insurance companies, governmental offices, administrative offices, and banks-trust departments.
Legal assistants have become an integral part of a team striving for better and more efficient delivery of legal services. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of paralegals and legal assistants is projected to grow 22 percent between 2006 and 2016, much faster than the average for all occupations. In addition to working in private law firms, legal assistant positions may be found in:
- Corporations and Businesses
- Insurance Companies
- Federal, State and local Governmental Offices
- Federal, State and local Administrative Agencies
- Banks-trust departments
Experienced legal assistants may also establish their own businesses, working for attorneys on a contract basis. Based on a 2008 survey conducted by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA), the average national salary of a Legal Assistant with an associate's degree is between $46,696 and $49,402, but the amount varies based on geographic region and years of experience. The report of the survey findings may be found on the web at www.nala.org. There is no charge for the survey report.