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Career and Education Opportunities for Legal Assistants in Phoenix, Arizona

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for legal assistants in the Phoenix, Arizona area. About 4,490 people are currently employed as legal assistants in Arizona. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 31% to 5,870 people employed. This is better than the national trend for legal assistants, which sees this job pool growing by about 28.1% over the next eight years. Legal assistants generally 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 per hour or $46,120 yearly on average nationally. Legal assistants earn less than people working in the category of Administration and Support generally in Arizona and more than people in the Administration and Support category nationally. People working as legal assistants can fill a number of jobs, such as: legal aide, legal analyst, and document processor.

There are seventy-six schools of higher education in the Phoenix area, including seven within twenty-five miles of Phoenix 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, you can expect to spend about four years studying 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 Phoenix 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

Everest College-Mesa - Mesa, AZ

Everest College-Mesa, 5416 East Baseline Ste. 200, Mesa, AZ 85206. Everest College-Mesa is a small college located in Mesa, Arizona. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 144 students and an admission rate of 68%. Everest College-Mesa has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated one student in 2008.

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: Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona photo by Urban

Phoenix is located in Maricopa County, Arizona. It has a population of over 1,567,924, which has grown by 18.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Phoenix, 93, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Phoenix cost $218,200 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, 2,176 new homes were built in Phoenix, down from 6,560 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Phoenix are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, administrative and support and waste management services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 26 minutes. More than 22.7% of Phoenix residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Phoenix is 10.0%, which is greater than Arizona's average of 9.3%.

The percentage of Phoenix residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 39.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. San Francisco Xavier and Good Shepherd Convent are among the churches located in Phoenix. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Phoenix is home to the Arizona Highway Patrol Headquarters and the Gila Valley Lookout as well as Indian Bend Park and Stephen Park. Shopping centers in the area include Alta Vista Shopping Center, Arcadia Plaza Shopping Center and Arcadia Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Phoenix can choose from Four Seasons Limousine LLC, Maricopa Manor B&B Inn and Motel 6 for temporary stays in the area.