difference between paralegal and legal assistant

These should be taken into account when considering whether you should be a paralegal or a legal assistant, and when trying to decipher a job description . One of the key differences between a legal assistant and a paralegal is the minimum level of education required in order to be employed as such. There is one thing to be aware of, however. Due to the higher amount of education that is required and the type … For instance, being a paralegal means that you are involved with drafting correspondence and legal documents, such as contracts and mortgages; conduct research on relevant law, regulations and legal articles; investigate the facts of a case; and gather evidence and legal documents for attorney review and case preparation, among other duties. Many students think they carry out much of the same tasks. Paralegal or Legal Assistant Qualifications. Here are the main differences between a legal document assistant (LDA), a paralegal, and an attorney. The biggest difference between a law clerk and a paralegal can be found in the extent of legal advice they are able to provide. Ideally, both legal assistants or rather secretaries and paralegals engage in almost similar tasks but different in some instances which include; legal research, draft business agreements/contracts, conduct a detailed investigation as well prepare adequately for a trial. While both of them are in fact a part of legal field, the truth is that paralegal is a specific field in the legal industry where as legal studies is a broad umbrella term that can include a paralegal program. All certification programs are voluntary, but many employers require or expect them to be completed for paralegal positions. Legal Assistants make 30 to 60 k per year. Both paralegals and legal assistants can perform substantive legal work under an attorney’s supervision. Basically, someone who wishes to work for a lawyer or law firm as a legal assistant might not need much college, but someone who wants to be employed as a paralegal may need at least a college degree. In contrast, a paralegal will be more involved with the case preparation. We are going to answer your question about the distinct differences between paralegals and legal assistants once and for all. While bls.gov projects a 15 percent increase in jobs for the two careers combined, other sites are saying there is a steady decrease in the hiring of legal assistants. Unlike the paralegal job description, the responsibilities of legal assistants are much more along the lines of administrative work. I see education, experience and professional responsibility becoming the significant difference between the terms "legal assistant" and "paralegal" in the future. The jury may rest. Legal Assistants make 30 to 60 k per year. The legal documents are to be filled out at the client’s direction. It can take anywhere from 2-4 years depending on the degree type. If you’re looking to become a Paralegal, it is advised that you enroll in a paralegal degree program to be able to work as a paralegal. Much of your work as a paralegal will require advanced understanding of the law and legal proceedings. Q: What’s the difference between a Paralegal and a Legal Assistant? However, you are not allowed to provide legal advice as it’s a duty reserved for a lawyer. Some firms may hire a Paralegal as a legal assistant. For example, the American Bar Association uses the same definition for both paralegals and legal assistants. Paralegals have no special “powers or rights” in British Columbia. Legal Document Assistants. Historically, the concepts of paralegal vs legal assistant have been used interchangeably. What’s the Difference Between Paralegal and a Legal Assistant? As a legal assistant, there are various administrative roles that you have to perform, all of which are those that are typically carried out by office secretaries — answering phone calls, taking messages from prospective and current clients, and scheduling meetings are just a few of them. Paralegals without any experience may find it easier to get their foot in the door by working as a … All rights reserved. Paralegals are not the same thing as legal assistants, and vice versa. Why Paralegals and Legal Assistants are Different. If you want to work in the legal system without having to attend law school, you may consider working as a legal assistant or legal secretary. A paralegal, by law, cannot do work for the general public on their own. Within a law firm, little to nothing. Nor is a paralegal a court reporter. Area of InterestHealthcareParalegalSports Rehabilitation TherapyPhysical Therapy AideMassage TherapyBusinessCannabisDigital MarketingNot Sure, Clicking the button above constitutes your express written consent to be called and/or texted by Fremont College at the number(s) you provided, regarding furthering your education. A paralegal instead serves in a suppoting role to attorneys, providing research, preparing documents, managing records, and recording certain formal statements that … When a lawyer is preparing for a case, it’s certain that both a legal assistant and a paralegal will be very busy – both of them will definitely be active participants in helping their employer prepare for a settlement or trial. It is work that attorneys would have to perform themselves in the absence of their paralegals. Now, keep in mind that whichever career you choose, your salary is most dependent on your geographical location, experience, and the industry. ... Not only should the difference between a paralegal certificate vs. a paralegal degree be discussed, but the difference between a paralegal certificate and certification is also an important distinction to make. Both terms are used interchangeably. What does your new life look like after graduation? While both can play important roles within the legal field, each has a different part to play. The distinctions between a legal assistant and a legal secretary can be seen in the differences in education, training, job responsibilities and salary between the two positions. On the other hand, a paralegal has to perform roles that might require a different expertise. Another difference between legal assistants and paralegals is the amount of compensation they qualify for. Though there's no legal differentiation between paralegals and legal assistants, legal offices can set their own requirements for these jobs and may refer to specific certifications during the interview process. If you are looking for a lawyer or paralegal, fill out the form on the side of this page. Often a higher position within a firm, the legal assistant vs legal secretary has more duties that are exclusively law. ; there are certain tasks that are delegated to a legal assistant, some... ’ re trained on the interwebz probably isn ’ t anyone on this planet know they... Filled out at the client just as a legal assistant and a paralegal performs for him the! Are in this article this article throughout a long history of the law and legal assistants are much more the..., at the client ’ s say this together, legal assistants, the salaries would be the career. Found in the same tasks for an attorney profession, the salaries would be offices, a paralegal require. Can earn that in 3 to 5 years after starting a business education. Still plenty of legal advice as it ’ s the difference between legal Clerks and legal are. 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