What does a Legal Assistant do?

Legal assistants support lawyers with various tasks, including conducting legal research, drafting and reviewing documents, communicating with clients, preparing hearings, trials, and meetings, and organizing and maintaining files.

A high school degree is required to become a legal assistant and most legal assistants have an associate's degree or a certificate in paralegal studies. Legal assistants are typically highly organized and detail-oriented, and have strong communication skills.

What responsibilities are common for Legal Assistant jobs?
  • Collect, examine, and organize evidence and other legal documents for attorney review and case preparation
  • Draft and proofread correspondence and legal documents, such as pleadings and contracts
  • Research regulations, laws, and legal articles to assist with the preparation of reports, case files, and legal advice
  • Manage client billing by preparing, finalizing, and sending out bills, as well as resolving billing issues in cooperation with the billing attorney
  • Communicate with clients and witnesses to schedule meetings, interviews, and depositions
  • Manage, organize, and maintain documents in paper or electronic filing systems
  • Provide general administrative assistance, such as maintaining the attorney's calendar and making travel arrangements
What are the typical qualifications for Legal Assistant jobs?
  • High school diploma or general education degree (GED) required
  • associate's degree in paralegal studies, a paralegal certificate, or a Bachelor's degree preferred
  • 1-5 years of experience as an administrative assistant (preferably in a law firm or in a corporate legal department), legal assistant, legal secretary, or paralegal
  • Detail-oriented and highly organized
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills and professional demeanor
  • Strong knowledge of Microsoft Office, including Word, Excel, and Outlook
  • Ability to work independently, manage large workloads, and keep deadlines
EducationBachelor's Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.5 ★
Total Pay--
Career Opportunity
3.2 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

How much does a Legal Assistant make near United States?

$51,506 /yr
Total Pay

Base Pay


Additional Pay


 / yr
Most Likely Range
Possible Range
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Legal Assistant Career Path

Learn how to become a Legal Assistant, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

Legal Assistant
Senior Legal Assistant
Legal Assistant

Years of Experience Distribution

0 - 1
2 - 4
5 - 7
Not including years spent in education and/or training

Legal Assistant Insights

Read what Legal Assistant professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Sullo & Sullo
Legal Assistant
Jan 13, 2022

“The manager was kinda iffy felt like everything someone did bothered her and I quit the manager not the job”

The Kennedy Law Firm (TN)The Kennedy Law Firm (TN)
Legal Assistant
Jul 20, 2023

“The training was excellent and I would highly recommend to anyone seeking employment in the law field.”

Samfiru TumarkinSamfiru Tumarkin
Legal Assistant
Dec 7, 2022

“My training was extremely thorough and I've always had support if there was something I didn't know.”

Real Estate Legal Solutions
Legal Assistant
Sep 8, 2021

“Real Estate Legal Solutions created a great working environment and was a place I looked forward to going everyday.”

Americans for Immigrant JusticeAmericans for Immigrant Justice
Legal Assistant
Jun 25, 2021

“profit means the pay is not amazing but I would say competitive for this type of work.”

Legal Assistant
Jul 13, 2021

“Only people who rated this higher than a 2 is family or close friends to Lisa.”

Greene County, MissouriGreene County, Missouri
Assistant Prosecutor
Jul 5, 2023

“It is an excellent place to start your career to learn how to become an effective attorney.”

McNeely Law GroupMcNeely Law Group
Legal Assistant
Mar 30, 2023

“Any time an employer has a high turnover rate it is absolutely a blaring red flag.”

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Legal Assistant Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of legal assistants

The typical day of a legal assistant involves helping lawyers by performing research, drafting legal documents, answering routine questions from clients, and assisting with trial preparation. They may also handle administrative duties, such as scheduling appointments, taking phone messages, preparing client bills, assembling files, and handling recordkeeping.

One advantage of being a legal assistant is that employment for legal assistants is expected to grow faster than the national average. In some law firms, legal assistants also perform the more advanced duties of a paralegal in a kind of hybrid role that can make this job more interesting. This is a good career if you're interested in law but don't want to become a lawyer.

The average salary for legal assistants is $51,506 a year. The highest-paying industries for legal assistants and paralegals are the federal government, finance and insurance, local government, legal services, and state government. Furthering your education to take on more complex legal duties can help you command a higher salary.

Working as a legal assistant can be stressful at times, particularly if you're assisting in a difficult or high-profile case. One challenge of being a legal assistant is that you may have to work overtime in these situations, staying late to keep up with the long hours of the lawyers you work for.

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