Legal assistants support lawyers and other legal professionals by completing various administrative and secretarial tasks. Valuable members of any legal team, these professionals help lawyers manage large caseloads by preparing documents, aiding in research, and coordinating with clients. After receiving legal assistant training, candidates find work in law firms, corporate legal departments, government (municipal, provincial or federal), real estate offices and land title offices. The legal assistant career path encompasses a variety of job titles including legal secretary, litigation legal assistant, real estate secretary, and corporate law legal assistant.
Legal Assistant Job Description
Legal assistants have a thorough understanding of legal practises, principles and procedures as well as strong administrative, communication and organizational skills. Although specific tasks vary depending on the work environment, typical responsibilities of the legal assistant may include:
• Preparation of deeds, wills, affidavits, briefs, shareholder agreements, stock option plans, employee benefit plans and other legal documents
• Preparation of tax returns
• Estate planning
• Contract, separation and mortgage agreement drafting
• Document and correspondence proofreading and review for grammar and compliance with legal procedures
• Coordination of internal and external flow of information including emails and regular mail
• Creation and maintenance of filing systems in accordance with established legal records procedures
• Appointment, conference and meeting scheduling on behalf of the employer
Legal Assistant Projected Demand
The demand for legal assistants has sharply increased over the past few years due, in part, to constant legislative and regulatory changes. This trend is expected to continue. Legal assistants earn, on average, $42,433 per year in Canada, with profit-sharing opportunities available in certain work environments.