The legal assistant employment rate is expected to grow.
Legal Studies at a Glance
Graduates of the Legal Studies program can apply for such positions as legal assistants, legal analysts, researchers, or court assistants.
Most legal assistants have a college degree. In many cases, employers prefer candidates who have at least one year of experience in a law firm or other office setting. In addition, a technical understanding of a specific legal specialty can be helpful. In some cases, employers hire college graduates with a Bachelor’s degree with no legal experience or education and train them on the job.
Typical Tasks Performed
- Investigate the facts of a case
- Conduct research on relevant laws, regulations, and legal articles
- Organize and maintain documents in a paper or electronic filing systems
- Gather and arrange evidence and other legal documents for attorney review and case preparation
- Write reports to help lawyers prepare for trials
- Draft correspondence and legal documents, such as contracts and mortgages
- Get affidavits and other formal statements that may be used as evidence in court
- Help lawyers during trials by handling exhibits, taking notes, or reviewing trial transcripts
Outlook for Employment
Employment of legal assistants is projected to grow 8 percent through 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Legal assistants are found in all types of organizations, but most work for law firms, corporate legal departments, and government agencies.
Industries That Employed the Most Legal Assistants in 2014:
- Legal services – 72%
- Local government, excluding education and hospitals – 6%
- Federal government – 5%
- State government, excluding education and hospitals – 4%
- Finance and insurance – 3%
Please note that these are national statistics and projections that might vary by location.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition http://www.bls.gov/ooh/legal/paralegals-and-legal-assistants.htm#tab-1