home | contact us | disclaimer  

Legal Assistants: Legal Assistant Program, Legal Assistant Training Certificate Courses, Classes, Schools and Careers

A legal assistant works with lawyers and attorneys to deliver legal services to their clients. Legal assistants are not qualified to give advice on or discuss legal matters directly with the client, and are not involved with client representation in any way. Instead, legal assistant training provides the candidate with skills needed to work under the supervision of a lawyer or attorney. Legal assistants are often involved with conducting research, drafting legal documents, and summarizing depositions. Legal assistant schools provide professional training and development for candidates interested in pursuing a legal assistant career.

Legal Assistant Job Description and Responsibilities

Graduates of legal assistant schools are involved with a variety of in-depth research projects, administrative tasks, and interviewing procedures throughout their legal assistant career. Completion of a legal assistant program provides students with the knowledge and skills to work immediately after graduation. General responsibilities of legal assistants include:

  • Conducting legal research
  • Interviewing and locating witnesses
  • Maintaining contact with a client
  • Signing correspondence on behalf of an attorney (as their legal assistant)
  • Summarizing hearings, interrogations, testimonies and depositions for later review
  • Attending real estate closings and administrative hearings
  • Analyzing and organizing information for the supervising attorney
  • Drafting contracts, mortgages, and separation agreements

Legal assistants may work in a variety of offices and organizations. Legal assistant training can be offered by each organization as a part of employment, and gives legal assistants the experience they need to further their career. Working as a legal administrative assistant is another attractive opportunity for many graduates where the gain immediate experience in the field. Common organizations and fields where legal assistants work include:

  • Corporate law

  • Criminal law

  • Litigation

  • Personal Injury law

  • Immigration

  • Family Law

  • Real Estate

  • Bankruptcy

Skills Needed to Become a Legal Assistant

Legal assistants must be flexible, punctual, and accurate with their work. Key skills to be successful in a legal assistant career include:

  • Strong listening skills

  • Knowledge of court proceedings

  • Strong knowledge of court documentation procedures

  • General knowledge of local laws

  • Familiarity with computers and technical knowledge

  • Learning how to read and index legal documents

  • Be courteous and professional

  • Uphold ethical standards

Legal assistant classes prepare students with basic knowledge and training in each of these areas, but the majority of these skills are learned on the job. 

Career Options After Legal Assistant Training

Legal assistant schools provide comprehensive training through a formal legal assistant program. However, a graduate or successful trainee can pursue various positions throughout their legal assistant career including:

  • Legal administrative assistant
  • Paralegal educator
  • Legal office management
  • Executive assistant
  • Notary public
  • Court information clerk
  • Court secretary

Legal Assistant Classes, Training Programs, and Obtaining a Legal Assistant Certificate

Legal assistant schools prepare students with skills and knowledge they need to start a career immediately after graduation. After completing a legal assistant program, the candidate may choose to obtain a legal assistant certificate to supplement their education. The Certified Legal Assistant (CLA) designation is earned after completing an examination and necessary training through the school. 

Legal assistant courses provide students with an understanding of legal terminology and legal concepts, as well as training on ethical conduct and business practices. Students are also involved with trial preparation, client interviews, preparation of legal documents, and legal research and drafting. Common legal assistant courses include:

  • Legal Office Management
  • Legal Writing Skills
  • Real Property Law and Title Search Skills
  • Wills, Trusts, and Estate Administration
  • Legal Research Skills
  • Civil Litigation and Investigation
  • Torts, Workers Compensation, and Employment Law
  • Contract Law
  • Business Organizations
  • Domestic Relations
  • Principles of Accounting

The most common way to become a legal assistant is to pursue an associate's degree program. A legal assistant program through a two-year college may then lead to a bachelor's or master's degree in the field, but many legal assistants gain a significant advantage by working with an attorney after college to gain experience. For a faster completion, a legal assistant certificate program may be completed in a few months. These programs may be taken online, or through a correspondence course program where legal assistant classes are completed by mail.

Legal assistant training programs may also include an internship component that enables students to gain practical experience in their field. They may be assigned an internship with a bank, legal agency, or attorney in the community. Although most employers do not require certification, work experience can be a significant advantage to the new graduate. However, certification provides the credentials needed to advance a candidate's legal assistant career.

Obtaining a Legal Assistant Certificate

A legal assistant certificate is available after completing an 2-day examination, and is administered by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA). Certified Legal Assistant (CLA) designation is then assigned to those who pass the exam, but a legal assistant may choose to pursue specialized recognition by passing the Paralegal Advanced Competency Exam. This exam is administered by the National Federation of Paralegal Associations to provide Registered Paralegal (RP) designation.

Legal Assistant Schools Approval & Accreditation

Legal assistant schools are approved by the American Bar Association (ABA). Accreditation for colleges and universities is available through the Association of Colleges and Schools in each region or state, or the Commission of Higher Education in the region.

Legal Assistant Earning Potential and Employment Prospects

Legal assistants have many opportunities to enjoy a long-term career in the field of law and litigation, and employment for legal assistants is projected to grow faster than average through 2014. The demand for skilled, educated, and certified legal assistants is rising as more private law firms and institutions require additional help. Even a legal administrative assistant may work towards a long-term career, and specialization in a  particular field provides additional employment opportunities. Jobs in the field are affected by the business cycle, but there are many options for legal assistants during recessions as well as the positives cycles of the economy. 

Median annual earnings for legal assistants vary depending on the industry, but the average range was between $31,040 and $49,950 in 2004. The majority of legal assistant jobs are found in the federal government department, followed by local government and legal services.


Back to Legal Assistant: Legal assistant program, legal assistant training, legal administrative assistant courses



Vocational School


Fashion Design Degree

Graphic Design Degree

Flight Colleges

Photography School

Medical Billing School

Medical Coding Training

Medical Assistant Training

Natural Health Schools

Dental Programs

Law School Ranking

Ranking the Top Business Schools

Dental Assistant Programs

Beauty Collegess

Interior Design Schools

Art Institutes

Acupuncture School

Paralegal Degrees

Medical Transcription School

Massage School

Online Pharmacy Technician Schools

Truck Driving Schools

Animation Degree Courses

Top 10 Universities