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Legal Career Information

Legal Job Overview Legal assistants provide comprehensive administrative support to lawyers. Their main ...

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Legal Job Overview

Legal assistants provide comprehensive administrative support to lawyers. Their main responsibilities include drafting pleadings, typing and transcribing legal documents and reports, handling correspondence, and maintaining both written and oral communication with clients. They should be able to use word processors, spreadsheets, and computerized databases in addition to having solid proofreading, organizational, and time-management skills. Legal assistants must demonstrate that they possess a meticulous approach to work, with great attention to detail, and that they are able to work under pressure and meet strict deadlines. Accounting skills are particularly valuable, as legal assistants are often required to issue invoices and oversee client billing operations. Legal assistants may specialize in different legal areas, which may include family law, environmental law, labor law, corporate law, etc. Full and part-time employment opportunities are available and overtime is common.

Legal Job Education Requirements

Many law graduates start their career as legal assistants, as this profession is often considered a stepping stone that can lead to a career as a lawyer. Although the educational requirements needed to enter this profession are not standardized, a legal assistant diploma is considered the minimum requirement for anyone wishing to gain entry into this field. These diplomas are taught at various colleges and can be completed in two years (60 weeks). Once a legal assistant diploma has been obtained, credits can be used towards a Bachelor's degree at a Canadian university. Continued Professional Development (CPD) courses are mandatory in some provinces. CPD also offers career advancement opportunities, as it allows legal assistants to specialize within specific legal areas and to progress to managerial positions.

Legal Job Market

Recently, obtained statistics show that unemployment is low among legal assistants. There are numerous job opportunities for legal assistants that include jobs as litigation associates and law office managers or administrators.

Legal Job Salary Information

The Canadian average salary for legal assistants is $42,000 per year. Average hourly salaries vary from province to province, ranging between $12/hour for entry-level positions and $38/hour for jobs requiring experience in a specific legal area. Bonuses and profit-sharing schemes may be available to legal assistants in some firms.

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