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Career and Education Opportunities for Legal Assistants in Peoria, Arizona

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for legal assistants in the Peoria, Arizona area. There are currently 4,490 working legal assistants in Arizona; this should grow by 31% to about 5,870 working legal assistants in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for legal assistants are expected to grow by about 28.1%. In general, legal assistants assist lawyers by researching legal precedent, investigating facts, or preparing legal documents.

Legal assistants earn about $21 hourly or $43,860 yearly on average in Arizona and about $22 hourly or $46,120 annually on average nationally. Incomes for legal assistants are not quite as good as in the overall category of Administration and Support in Arizona, and better than the overall Administration and Support category nationally. People working as legal assistants can fill a number of jobs, such as: corporate law assistant, real estate paralegal, and judicial assistant.

There are seventy-four schools of higher education in the Peoria area, including six within twenty-five miles of Peoria where you can get a degree to start your career as a legal assistant. Given that the most common education level for legal assistants is a Bachelor's degree, it will take about four years to learn to be a legal assistant if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Legal Assistant

Legal Assistant video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, legal assistants assist lawyers by researching legal precedent, investigating facts, or preparing legal documents. They also conduct research to support a legal proceeding, to formulate a defense, or to initiate legal action.

Legal assistants ready affidavits or other documents, such as legal correspondence, and organize and maintain documents in paper or electronic filing system. They also ready legal documents and real estate closing statements. Finally, legal assistants meet with clients and other professionals to consider specifics of case.

Every day, legal assistants are expected to be able to read and understand documents and reports. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they see details at a very fine level of focus.

It is important for legal assistants to gather and analyze research data, such as statutes and legal articles, codes, and documents. They are often called upon to get ready for trial by performing tasks such as organizing exhibits. They also file pleadings with court clerk. They are sometimes expected to direct and schedule law office activity, including delivery of subpoenas. Somewhat less frequently, legal assistants are also expected to appraise and inventory real and personal property for estate planning.

They also have to be able to investigate facts and law of cases and search pertinent sources and call upon witnesses to testify at hearing. And finally, they sometimes have to ready affidavits or other documents, such as legal correspondence, and organize and maintain documents in paper or electronic filing system.

Like many other jobs, legal assistants must be thorough and dependable and believe in cooperation and coordination.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Peoria include:

  • Court Reporter. Use verbatim methods and equipment to capture, store, and transcribe pretrial and trial proceedings or other information. Includes stenocaptioners who operate computerized stenographic captioning equipment to provide captions of live or prerecorded broadcasts for hearing-impaired viewers.
  • Lawyer. Represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, and manage or advise clients on legal transactions. May specialize in a single area or may practice broadly in many areas of law.
  • Paralegal. Assist lawyers or judges by researching or preparing legal documents. May meet with clients or assist lawyers and judges in court.
  • Title Examiner. Search real estate records, examine titles, or summarize pertinent legal or insurance details for a variety of purposes. May compile lists of mortgages, contracts, and other instruments pertaining to titles by searching public and private records for law firms, real estate agencies, or title insurance companies.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Legal Assistant Training

Arizona College of Allied Health - Glendale, AZ

Arizona College of Allied Health, 4425 W Olive Avenue Suite 300, Glendale, AZ 85302. Arizona College of Allied Health is a small college located in Glendale, Arizona. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 178 students. Arizona College of Allied Health has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated two students in 2008.

Phoenix College - Phoenix, AZ

Phoenix College, 1202 W Thomas Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85013. Phoenix College is a large college located in Phoenix, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,917 students. Phoenix College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated zero, thirty-seven, and thirty-eight students respectively in 2008.

IIA College - Mesa, AZ

IIA College, 925 S Gilbert Rd Ste 201, Mesa, AZ 85204-4448. IIA College is a small college located in Mesa, Arizona. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 225 students. IIA College has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated one student in 2008.

Lamson College - Tempe, AZ

Lamson College, 875 W. Elliot Road Suite 206, Tempe, AZ 85284. Lamson College is a small college located in Tempe, Arizona. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 483 students. Lamson College has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated thirty students in 2008.

IIA College - Phoenix, AZ

IIA College, 4240 W. Bethany Home Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85019-1600. IIA College is a small college located in Phoenix, Arizona. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 650 students. IIA College has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated six students in 2008.

Everest College-Phoenix - Phoenix, AZ

Everest College-Phoenix, 10400 N. 25th Avenue, Suite 190, Phoenix, AZ 85021-1641. Everest College-Phoenix is a small college located in Phoenix, Arizona. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 764 students and an admission rate of 72%. Everest College-Phoenix has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated thirty-two students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Legal Assistant: The CLA examination is divided into five sections.

For more information, see the National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc. website.

Certified Legal Investigator: The National Association of Legal Investigators, Inc.

For more information, see the National Association of Legal Investigators website.

Certified Legal Video Specialist: The use of video in the legal environment is growing fast.

For more information, see the National Court Reporters Association website.

Certified Broadcast Captioner: Prove you're on the cutting edge.

For more information, see the National Court Reporters Association website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Peoria, Arizona

Peoria, Arizona
Peoria, Arizona photo by Ceemo

Peoria is located in Maricopa County, Arizona. It has a population of over 157,960, which has grown by 45.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Peoria, 94, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Peoria are priced at $169,600 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, seven hundred ninety-four new homes were built in Peoria, down from 1,148 the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Peoria are health care, finance and insurance, and educational services. For men, it is construction, public administration, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 29 minutes. More than 21.7% of Peoria residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.5%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Peoria is 6.1%, which is less than Arizona's average of 9.3%.

The percentage of Peoria residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 39.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Peoria is home to the Maricopa County Community Services and the Lake Pleasant Inn as well as Murphy Park and Varney Park. Shopping centers in the area include Arrowhead Mall, Pueblo Plaza Shopping Center and Plaza de Alamos Shopping Center. Visitors to Peoria can choose from La Quinta Phoenix Inn And Suites Peoria, Hampton Inn Glendale-Peoria and FlyHwnTrvl for temporary stays in the area.