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What does a Paralegal Assistant do?

Learn all about Paralegal Assistant duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Paralegal Assistant.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 4 min read

A paralegal assistant is a professional who provides support to lawyers by performing a variety of tasks, including conducting legal research, drafting documents, and managing client files. In many cases, paralegal assistants also act as liaisons between clients and lawyers, communicating information and updates as needed.

Paralegal Assistant job duties include:

  • Prepare and file documents with the court
  • Serve documents to the other party in a legal case
  • Conduct research on legal cases
  • Draft pleadings and other legal documents
  • Organize and maintain files on active and closed cases
  • Schedule appointments and meetings with clients, witnesses, and other professionals
  • Answer phones and direct calls to the appropriate person or department
  • Greet visitors and direct them to the appropriate person or department
  • Prepare expense reports and process invoices for payment

Paralegal Assistant Job Requirements

Most paralegal assistants have an associate's degree in paralegal studies, although some have a bachelor's degree. Many community colleges, as well as some four-year colleges and universities, offer associate's and bachelor's degree programs in paralegal studies. There are also a number of private institutions that offer these programs. Some employers prefer to hire candidates who have completed a formal education program in paralegal studies, while others are more interested in candidates who have related work experience. Many paralegal assistants become certified through professional organizations, such as the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) or the American Bar Association (ABA). Certification is not required for entry-level positions, but it may give candidates a competitive edge when applying for jobs.

Paralegal Assistant Skills

  • Communication
  • Writing
  • Research
  • Organizational
  • Time management
  • Client interaction
  • Computer
  • Database
  • Spreadsheet
  • Scheduling
  • Calendaring
  • Filing

Related: Top Paralegal Assistant Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Paralegal Assistant

A paralegal assistant is a person who provides support to lawyers by performing tasks such as researching cases, drafting documents, and maintaining files. If you are interested in becoming a paralegal assistant, there are a few things you should do. First, obtain a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Many paralegal assistants have degrees in fields such as English, history, or political science. However, there is no one specific major that is required for this position. Second, complete an internship with a law firm or other legal organization. This will give you the opportunity to learn about the day-to-day tasks of a paralegal assistant and to see if this career is right for you. Finally, consider obtaining a certification from an organization such as the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA). While certification is not required, it may give you an edge when applying for jobs.

Once you have completed these steps, you will be on your way to becoming a paralegal assistant. With hard work and dedication, you can succeed in this rewarding career.

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