The main work of legal assistant is to assist the lawyer in carrying out the different functions. A lawyer has to handle a lot of documents and thus it is the duty of the legal assistant to make the matter easy. He may procure the required details and legal documents and thus lessen the burden of a lawyer.
A legal assistant works for the lawyers and carries out a lot of routine tasks. The purpose of their job is to help out the lawyers in whichever way they can. They need to take care that the different documents have been duly signed and can even assist the lawyer in the cases that he handles.
The duties of a legal assistant are as follows.
- Help in preparing the different legal documents which the lawyer would need. These include wills, contracts, legal notices and even real estate documents.
- Prepare affidavits and other documents that the client may require.
- Check out the details of the different cases and relay the information to the lawyer so that he can handle the case efficiently.
- Check the schedule of the lawyer and plan appointments accordingly.
- Help in settling the disputes between the two parties.
- Check the clauses of various documents and analyze whether the conditions are worth accepting.
A legal assistant must have the following skills.
- Should be organized and must excel in his duties.
- Must be skilled to accomplish the tasks within the stipulated deadline.
- Should have clear understanding of the different legal procedures.
- Should be skilled in the use of basic facilities like printers, scanners, and computers.
- Should have good communications skills.
They generally work with the lawyers in their own office. They are not required to visit the court of law. However, if the lawyer desires, they may even assist the lawyers in courtrooms. They would have fixed working hours; however, some cases may require them to work overtime. Generally, they are provided all facilities at the lawyer’s office and their work is fairy simple. However, they may have to be involved deeply in some cases and may even need to report at odd times, if the case so demands.
There are no specific qualifications that a legal assistant must have. However, there are a few qualifications that can come in handy. They are as follows.
- A bachelor’s degree related to the field of law is often recommended.
- There are a few programs for paralegal studies as an associate degree courses. Such courses can be of help.
- There are various paralegal training programs that can be opted for.
- Prior experience in the field can turn out to be effective.
Tips for the job
- Make sure to check all documents thoroughly before passing an opinion about them to the lawyer.
- Have a good working relationship with the lawyer.
- Carry out all duties effectively.
- Explore the different legal clauses and finish all pending work on the same day itself.