Legal Assistant Job Description

Supreme Court of United States

Are you wondering what the difference is between a legal assistant and a paralegal as well as what the specific job description of a legal assistant is? The short answer is that it has been used interchangeably in the legal community for years. It should be noted that the National Federation of Paralegal Associations has decided that they no longer want the terms used interchangeably; however, the fact remains that many still do so. A legal assistant or paralegal is; however, significantly different than a legal secretary, which usually requires much less education and training.

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Legal assistants perform several important tasks within a law office including the preparation of various legal documents such as affidavits, subpoenas, pleas, appeals, wills, and other contracts and documents. A legal assistant job description also includes assisting with research for specific cases and being proficient at looking up case precedents, legal codes, and statutes so that the information can be applied to existing cases.

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Legal assistants are the backbone of the attorney’s operations and interface with clients, opposing parties, as well as third parties involved in cases. The duties of a legal assistant may vary depending on the focus of the office. Some may be working with insurance companies or large corporations, while others may be working on a smaller scale working with individual drafts of wills or real estate affidavits.