The legal assistant, also called a legal secretary or paralegal, exercises his function in a law firm, with a notary, or in a bailiff’s office. He can also work within the legal department, litigation, and human resources of a company. Part of the duties of the legal assistant falls under the secretariat classic: reception, planning and travel management, mail management, switchboard, and accounting assistant.
With regard to the legal part of his function, the legal assistant is in charge of preparing the files by gathering the necessary documents. He performs all or part of the documentary monitoring of legal texts and drafts documents such as subpoenas, briefing notes, and case reports. When working in a company, the legal assistant is more specialized in everything related to labor law (dismissal procedures, employment contracts, etc.), commercial law (litigation, etc.) and company law.
You can become one by taking the Legal Assistant course online offered by ABM College. This will grant you the necessary skills to become an expert in the field.
The duties of a legal assistant at a glance
A legal assistant performs secretarial tasks for lawyers they help organize their work. The legal assistant profession can be exercised in a law firm, with a notary, in a team of corporate lawyers, in the legal department or even with a bailiff.
Depending on her knowledge of legal matters, the legal assistant can develop her missions and activities.
However, the basic tasks of the legal assistant remain the same:
- Reception of “customers” physically or by telephone.
- Drafting of documents and formatting of deeds.
- Taking notes and writing minutes during meetings or appointments.
- Managing mail and various administrative tasks.
- Diary management.
- Travel preparation.
- Possibility of taking charge of the cash flow if the assistant has notions of accounting.
- Preparation, filing and updating of files.
- Performing administrative procedures.
- Realization of legal research and gathering of documents to constitute the files.
The backbone of the place where they practice, the legal assistant, like an administrative secretary, is present to facilitate and manage the operation of her/his structure.
Depending on his knowledge of rights and procedures, his seniority and the structure, the legal assistant can develop his position and become the manager of a team of assistants or even a clerk of notary or bailiff. This job can also allow you to join the public service by passing administrative competitions.
The key skills to cultivate to become a paralegal
A legal assistant must have a sense of hospitality and communication. Perfectly organized and rigorous in the performance of their daily tasks, the legal assistant must also be perfectly comfortable with computers. On the other hand, a legal assistant must have a perfect command of legal language and vocabulary. He must also have a solid foundation in all areas of law and know how legal bodies work.
As a legal assistant, you must show reserve regarding the structure you practice and the cases you deal with.
Discretion is the basis, the foundation of the profession of the assistant as well as that of a legal secretary. Having excellent interpersonal skills is also essential to exercise this profession. This contact profession places you at the heart of the company, of those who compose it, but also in permanent contact with its customers.