Paralegals and Legal Assistants

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About the Job

Assist lawyers by investigating facts, preparing legal documents, or researching legal precedent. Conduct research to support a legal proceeding, to formulate a defense, or to initiate legal action.

It is also Called

  • Assistant Paralegal
  • Attorney Law Clerk
  • Bankruptcy Assistant
  • Certified Paralegal
  • Child Support Specialist
  • Closing Agent
  • Complex Commercial Litigation Paralegal
  • Contract Preparer
  • Contracts Specialist
  • Corporate Law Assistant

What They Do

  • Arbitrate disputes between parties and assist in the real estate closing process, such as by reviewing title searches.
  • Appraise and inventory real and personal property for estate planning.
  • Keep and monitor legal volumes to ensure that law library is up-to-date.
  • Direct and coordinate law office activity, including delivery of subpoenas.
  • Investigate facts and law of cases and search pertinent sources, such as public records, to determine causes of action and to prepare cases.
  • Gather and analyze research data, such as statutes, decisions, and legal articles, codes, and documents.
  • File pleadings with court clerk.
  • Meet with clients and other professionals to discuss details of case.
  • Prepare legal documents, including briefs, pleadings, appeals, wills, contracts, and real estate closing statements.
  • Prepare for trial by performing tasks such as organizing exhibits.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: CIE.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Conventional interests, but also prefer Investigative and Enterprising environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Relationships, but also value Working Conditions and Support in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Education Required

Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

LMI Region

Wages

In 2012, the average annual wage in New Jersey was $58,050 with most people making between $38,380 and $83,750

Outlook

1.22%
avg. annual growth

During 2008, this occupation employed approximately 7,400 people in New Jersey. It is projected that there will be 8,300 employed in 2018.

This occupation will have about 90 openings due to growth and about 80 replacement openings for approximately 170 total annual openings.