A legal assistant is an interchangeable term for a paralegal. With proper education and training, a legal assistant will be employed by a law office or lawyer. They perform duties for their employer as it pertains to the specialization of their office’s legal responsibilities. A paralegal must have extensive knowledge of the law as they will perform substantive legal work for their employer. The work they perform is that of which a lawyer or law office would perform should there not be a paralegal.
Education is crucial for a paralegal or legal assistant. There are many programs to choose from that meet certification requirements depending on your locale. Proper education or earning a degree is often required to qualify as a legal assistant. Once you decide on the right course of action for your education, there are various specializations you can choose from.
Once you have earned your degree or certification, it is time for you to enter the workforce. Preparation for your interview is a key component in landing the job that you desire. The following are interview tips for a legal assistant position:
- Be knowledgeable about the company
Do some research on the company you are interviewing for and read any current news regarding them.
- Make sure your resume is up to date
Have a current resume and make sure it is catered to match the job you are applying for.
- Dress for success
Wear professional clothing that is neat, clean, and appropriate for the position you are applying for.
- Be prepared for interview questions specific to legal assistants
You should have a general idea about the types of questions you will be asked. Have some answers prepared but don’t sound like you are reading off of a script. Some common questions you may be asked include:
- What type of law interests you the most?
- What made you become a legal assistant?
- What are some attributes that you think make a legal assistant successful?
- Can you tell me about a time where you had to deal with stress in the workplace?
- How have you handled confidential information in the past?
- Why do you want to work for our company?
- Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
If you look your best and have taken the time to consider what your interview will entail and then prepare yourself, you will be sure to succeed. Remember that first impressions count and to provide answers that align with the organization’s culture.