Legal Assistants help by creating and maintaining legal files, conducting research and writing the first drafts of legal documents. Legal Assistants also research cases, maintain the digital databases, and prepare materials a lawyer might need during trial.
How to Write a Summary for a Legal Assistant
Mention your previous experience. Do you have any background or knowledge in the legal system? Were you on your college’s mock trial team? Did you take college courses in criminal justice or legal studies?
Describe your greatest strength. Are you a strong writer? Do you love conducting research?
Explain what you’re eager to accomplish in the next stage of your career. Are you looking to work for a family lawyer? What about on the criminal side of court proceedings? Are you passionate about defending children, helping families, or giving those accused a strong defense?
How to List Your Work Experience as a Legal Assistant
Use reverse chronological format. List your most recent jobs first, as this shows managers how you’ve gained experience in the industry.
Use action verbs related to being a Legal Assistant. Verbs are critical to demonstrating what you can do for the company. Review the following list for some powerful examples.
Assisted attorneys with administrative tasks related to opening and maintaining cases
Prepared motions and letters under the supervision of the attorney, followed up with pending inquiries
Facilitated outreach presentations to community members and potential clients on domestic abuse, sexual abuse, legal issues, and safety planning
Drafted pleadings from templates files to the final draft
Provided notice and service of the process following the Law
Drafted correspondence and presentation materials, made copies, faxes, entered data, and notarized documents
Prepared weekly legal review agenda with the current status and proactively ensured pleadings were prepared for attorney or Director's signature relevant to the agenda items pending
Scheduled and facilitates weekly new appointment intake staffings
Initiated front end case discovery using a robust relative search database, advanced internet search tools, and public sites
Set up new electronic and hard copy investigation and appointment case files
Provided support in compiling exhibits in support of court filings
Actively reviewed daily incoming attorneys post-hearing communications and Minute Entries for Court Ordered actions
Actively managed all investigation, temporary case files, and post-appointment legal actions
Prepared and maintained Excel tracking logs for internal needs and requests
Prepared and staffed legal issues with assigned fiduciary, supervisor, and counsel
Reviewed, updated, and printed schedules to ensure timely filing of court-mandated reports
Verified and submitted routine pleadings to the Court as prescribed by the State’s Rules of Probate Procedure
Prepared written requests sent for evidence, including medical reports and financial documents
Completed final quality review of cases pending finalization and post-closure
Junior Level Work Experience as a Legal Assistant
Drafted general pleadings, discovery, memoranda, correspondence, reports, contracts, and other legal documents
Prepared basic and complex court documents requiring knowledge of legal procedures, format, and terminology, in accordance with federal, state, and local rules
Organize attorneys’ calendars, leading to a 14% decrease in missed appointments
Filed legal papers with the proper courts, including state and local counties
Performed legal research under the supervision of an attorney
Identified and verified legal citations
Organized documents and files in preparation for hearings and trials
Provided assistance with locating references in the law library
Processed tort claims and litigation against the City
Provided information on claims and litigation to the Risk Manager, department staff, third-party administrators, and outside attorneys
Established and maintained accurate, up-to-date files
Prepared and submitted reports, such as required state and federal reports
Provided information related to the work of the office to the public, law firms, courts, and various city, county, state, and other public and private agencies and entities
Compiled statistical data and spreadsheet reports; builds and maintains positive working relationships with co-workers, other City employees, and the general public
How to List Your Skills as a Legal Assistant
Legal Assistants support lawyers by organizing legal documents, gathering information about cases and assisting during trials and hearings. As a result, organization, research, and writing skills are a must. However, Legal Assistants must also be able to interact with clients and other personnel.
How to List Your Education as a Legal Assistant
Legal Assistants require at least an associate’s degree, though some companies may prefer that assistants have a bachelor's degree in another field or a paralegal studies certificate.
There are plenty of online certification options available for Legal Assistants. Check out the Certifications by state for more information.
Requirements for licensure vary by state but generally involve the following:
Earn a certificate in legal or paralegal work
Complete a background check
Legal Assistant Career Overview
The job outlook for Legal Assistants is growing at 12% per year, which is considered to be much faster than average. In 2018 there were 325,700 jobs available.
Legal Assistants make $51,740 per year on average. However, salaries could be as high as $82,500 depending on experience, industry, and location.
Katerina is a junior studying English and Marketing at Johns Hopkins University. She has experience in social media, science writing, and fiction. When she isn't writing, she's hitting the gym, playing with her cats, or eating chocolate.