Paralegals vs. Legal Administrative Assistants

Friday, August 31, 2012

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When deciding which type of career path to choose, many students may have an easy time choosing a future in the legal field. What might cause them more uncertainty is debating whether to pursue a role as a paralegal or follow the path of a legal administrative assistant. First, they should develop a clear understanding of the differences between these professions. While both are key to maintaining an efficient law office, each position requires a certain set of skills that could suit the student better than the other.

Paralegals

Hiring paralegals for an agency, business organization or law firm is one of the most crucial processes a lawyer undergoes. Essentially, every action completed by paralegals is a representation of the lawyers for whom they work. Any mistake or unethical action can become a bigger problem than a simple mishap by the employees supporting their supervisors. As a result, fully understanding and embracing the paralegal code of ethics is crucial to impressing employers and ultimately keeping a job at the company.

One primary principle is the importance of competence, and maintaining a high level of professional knowledge throughout a person's career. The best way to achieve this is by enrolling in paralegal courses at a school that offers programs specifically geared to help train professionals in this field. Students in British Columbia can register at Vancouver Career College to take the Paralegal program and show employers that their knowledge and training is up to date.

Ultimately, paralegals should be a reliable system of support for lawyers. The team should have a trusting and strong partnership in order to produce honest results for their clients.

Legal Administrative Assistants

Similar to a paralegal, the legal administrative assistant performs a support role to ensure that law firms continue to run smoothly and efficiently. These individuals typically have training in areas such as civil and family litigation, corporate law and legal office procedures, allowing them to feel acquainted and comfortable with the vast amount of legal terminology they will come across on a daily basis.

Most lawyers will encourage their assistants to sit in on meetings not only to record important notes, but also to get a feel for the operations of the agency. This type of interaction with numerous people in the office can help build their professional network of legal contacts and ultimately help them advance their careers in the future. This role is a great way to get started in the industry and determine whether or not pursuing a future in law is the right decision.

Students who are considering this type of career can also look into programs at Vancouver Career College, which offers the Legal Administrative Assistant program. For more information about these legal courses, fill out the form on the right.
 


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