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Career and Education Opportunities for Legal Assistants in Scottsdale, Arizona

There are many career and education opportunities for legal assistants in the Scottsdale, Arizona area. Currently, 4,490 people work as legal assistants in Arizona. This is expected to grow 31% to about 5,870 people 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 approximately $21 hourly or $43,860 annually on average in Arizona. Nationally they average about $22 per hour or $46,120 annually. Compared with people working in the overall category of Administration and Support, people working as legal assistants in Arizona earn less. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Administration and Support nationally. Jobs in this field include: legal paraprofessional, real estate closer, and probate paralegal.

There are seventy-six schools of higher education in the Scottsdale area, including seven within twenty-five miles of Scottsdale 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 training to become 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 Scottsdale 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: Scottsdale, Arizona

Scottsdale, Arizona
Scottsdale, Arizona photo by Flyer84

Scottsdale is located in Maricopa County, Arizona. It has a population of over 235,371, which has grown by 16.1% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Scottsdale, 104, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Scottsdale are priced at $633,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, two hundred thirty-three new homes were constructed in Scottsdale, down from six hundred eighty-nine the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Scottsdale are health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, finance and insurance, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 44.1% of Scottsdale residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 14.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Scottsdale is 6.4%, which is less than Arizona's average of 9.3%.

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

Scottsdale is home to the Arabian Library and the McCormick Ranch Golf Course as well as Indian Bend Wash Greenbelt and McCormick Railroad Park. Shopping centers in the area include Los Arcos Mall, Park Scottsdale Shopping Center and Papago Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Scottsdale can choose from Hyatt Regency & Resorts - Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort, Doubletree Paradise Valley and Innsuites Hotel-Scottsdale for temporary stays in the area.