If you’re fascinated by the legal professional but aren’t sure you want to spend the time and money to become a lawyer (besides spending the rest of your life as the brunt of countless lawyer jokes) then you might want to consider getting a legal assistant associate degree.
Many people don’t quite understand what legal assistants do: they’re NOT secretaries for lawyers, first of all. Legal assistants (also called Paralegals) prepare legal documents, do research, communicate with clients, and assist attorneys on their cases. They don’t give legal advice or represent clients in court, but they do all the background work on cases and work closely with the attorney who is representing the client.
If you’re the type of person who loves digging through books and files doing research, and are comfortable spending hours in a library alone, then getting a legal assistant associate degree will be right up your alley. This is definitely a field for the person who loves reading and books!
It’s also important that you have excellent communication skills, both when talking and when writing. With a legal assistant associate degree, you’ll get ample experience in both of these areas. You’ll also be learning about our legal system, business math, legal research and composition, property law, organizational law, legal ethics, estate administration, and much more.
After you’ve completed your legal assistant associate degree you’ll know the ins and outs of the legal system, how to research effectively in the library and on the Internet, how to draft legal documents, and much more. As you can see, there is a lot to learn in this field!
The job market for legal assistants is doing very well, and according the to Bureau of Labor Statistics is expected to do even better in the years to come. As legal firms attempt to control costs, they’re outsourcing more and more work to paralegals, saving their attorneys for court time. What does this mean for you? It means that you shouldn’t have a hard time finding a job in this field in the years to come.
You can also make a comfortable living once you’ve gotten your legal assistant associate degree. Salaries range from $32,000 to $42,000, and can even go past $60,000, depending on your firm and region.
Although you can get a job as a paralegal with no formal education, you’ll definitely have a much better chance if you pursue a legal assistant associate degree. This will show potential employers that you know vital legal terms, the working of our justice system, and other important information that you can’t do your job without.
So, if you love research and writing, and are interested in working in the legal profession, then check out getting your legal assistant associate degree. You’ll be able to work in law, without getting joked about all the time like the lawyers do. What’s better than that?
"...in the big picture, people with associate degrees make more than people with high school diplomas. "
"Many students enroll in a 2-year college with the intention of transferring to a 4-year college and obtaining a bachelor’s degree."
"...the more degreed-education you have, the less likely you are to be unemployed."