A position as a legal assistant can be very rewarding and challenging. Essentially, as a legal assistant you are capable of doing many of the duties of a lawyer, but you do not practice law. Instead, you focus on the specific details to ensure that communication and organization are operating smoothly between the lawyer and his or her clients. There are a number of tasks that a legal assistant completes throughout the day which makes the work environment exciting and different every day. For anybody who may be contemplating a career as a legal assistant, here are some of the top duties that you will be doing day-to-day.
One of the more obvious duties of a legal assistant is the administrative tasks. Essentially, a legal assistant works to keep a lawyer’s office functioning properly. Such duties may include answering the phone, taking messages, organizing and maintaining office records, copying, faxing, and filing. As a legal assistant, you should always be aware of the location of pertinent information to assist the lawyer or the client.
Often, a legal assistant is responsible for researching information that is vital to a particular case. For instance, a legal assistant may research specific laws, witnesses, or even evidence and how it may correlate to a certain case. This may include looking into older cases, talking to witnesses or clients, and reviewing police reports.
Preparing for a Case
The legal assistant will help to prepare a lawyer for the courtroom or other meetings. The legal assistant may help scheduling particular duties throughout a given day or even assist with opening and closing statements in the courtroom. All information and materials that are needed for a lawyer to function throughout the day should be provided by the legal assistant’s help.
Writing is certainly a skill that legal assistants should possess. The legal assistant will often draft up agreements or even some tax documents. The documents should be free of errors and written within the confines of the law. It is absolutely critical the legal assistant is well-versed in the law and is able to express that through their writing.
The legal assistant should work to communicate between the lawyer and the clients when the lawyer is unable to talk with the client at a particular time. The legal assistant must know specific details of the case at all times so they may better assist those that may need help.
There are a number of duties that a legal assistant much complete in order to properly function in their role. Basically, a legal assistant must in many ways must be as knowledgeable as the lawyer they are helping in order to ensure that there are no major mistakes that are made in a case. A Legal assistant is a very rewarding career because they must have a number of skills and be very well informed when it comes to the law as well as office management.