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How To Be a Great Legal Assistant

You’ve chosen a career as a legal assistant and now it’s time to put your education to use. The drive and willingness to exceed in your career as a legal assistant will take you far in this exciting profession. We have a few other tips and tricks to help you become the best legal assistant you can be.

What is a Legal Assistant?

A legal assistant or paralegal is a person, qualified by education, training, or work experience who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, governmental agency, or other entity and who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible

Personality Traits of Legal Assistants: 

  • Highly organized
  • Ability to multitask
  • Good computer skills
  • Pays close attention to detail
  • Works well independently
  • Works well under pressure
  • Maintains a professional attitude

Good Legal Assistants are Patient

As a legal assistant, you will always deal with difficult people and their problems. Patience is key. The legal assistant who handles these issues with diplomacy and tact, smoothing over differences or forging solutions, can become an invaluable member of the legal team.

Great Legal Assistants are Persistent 

A great paralegal will draw on their personality characteristics of logic and ingenuity to find other ways to solve the problem.

A great paralegal is one who is committed to the law firm, the attorney and the client instead of being committed to the job. A great paralegal consistently goes beyond the “job description” to make things happen while using good judgment to know when to involve the attorney or a supervisor.

Great Legal Assistants Are Personable 

Legal assistants may interact with stressed-out attorneys, unhappy clients, difficult members of the opposing counsel, and a variety of other difficult individuals.. A top-notch legal assistant should be able to greet people graciously, provide instruction, and diffuse tense situations. This involves listening, expressing ideas clearly, interpreting non-verbal cues, negotiating, and being empathic.   

To stay on top of ongoing changes within the industry, you may choose to enroll in online or in-person classes, attend conferences and/or regularly read legal articles, books, and blogs. As you continue to grow in your career you still can work toward improving your natural abilities and addressing areas of weakness.