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Career and Education Opportunities for Legal Assistants in Thornton, Colorado

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for legal assistants in the Thornton, Colorado area. About 4,940 people are currently employed as legal assistants in Colorado. By 2016, this is expected to grow 23% to 6,090 people employed. This is not quite as good as 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.

Income for legal assistants is about $21 per hour or $45,350 per year on average in Colorado. Nationally, their income is about $22 hourly or $46,120 per year. Incomes for legal assistants are not quite as good as in the overall category of Administration and Support in Colorado, and better than the overall Administration and Support category nationally. People working as legal assistants can fill a number of jobs, such as: corporate legal assistant, real estate closer, and probate paralegal.

There are fifty-nine schools of higher education in the Thornton area, including eight within twenty-five miles of Thornton where you can get a degree to start your career as a legal assistant. Legal assistants usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so 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 Thornton 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

Front Range Community College - Westminster, CO

Front Range Community College, 3645 W 112th Ave, Westminster, CO 80031. Front Range Community College is a large college located in Westminster, Colorado. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,480 students. Front Range Community College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated three, six, and eleven students respectively in 2008.

Everest College-Aurora - Aurora, CO

Everest College-Aurora, 14280 East Jewell Ave, Aurora, CO 80012-5692. Everest College-Aurora is a small college located in Aurora, Colorado. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 565 students and an admission rate of 56%. Everest College-Aurora has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated thirteen students in 2008.

Kaplan College-Denver - Thornton, CO

Kaplan College-Denver, 500 E. 84th Ave., W-200, Thornton, CO 80229. Kaplan College-Denver is a small college located in Thornton, Colorado. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 326 students. Kaplan College-Denver has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated forty-three and thirteen students respectively in 2008.

Everest College-Thornton - Thornton, CO

Everest College-Thornton, 9065 Grant St, Thornton, CO 80229. Everest College-Thornton is a small college located in Thornton, Colorado. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 714 students and an admission rate of 30%. Everest College-Thornton has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated eleven students in 2008.

Community College of Aurora - Aurora, CO

Community College of Aurora, 16000 E CentreTech Pky, Aurora, CO 80011-9036. Community College of Aurora is a medium sized college located in Aurora, Colorado. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,217 students. Community College of Aurora has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated four and four students respectively in 2008.

Westwood College-Denver North - Denver, CO

Westwood College-Denver North, 7350 N Broadway, Denver, CO 80221. Westwood College-Denver North is a medium sized college located in Denver, Colorado. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,843 students and an admission rate of 99%. Westwood College-Denver North has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal.

Community College of Denver - Denver, CO

Community College of Denver, 1111 W. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO 80204-2026. Community College of Denver is a medium sized college located in Denver, Colorado. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,006 students. Community College of Denver has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated seven, eight, and six students respectively in 2008.

Argosy University-Denver - Denver, CO

Argosy University-Denver, 1200 Lincoln St., Denver, CO 80203. Argosy University-Denver is a small university located in Denver, Colorado. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 259 students and an admission rate of 56%. Argosy University-Denver has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated 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: Thornton, Colorado

Thornton, Colorado
Thornton, Colorado photo by bonjourpeewee

Thornton is located in Adams County, Colorado. It has a population of over 113,429, which has grown by 37.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Thornton, 94, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Thornton are priced at $176,300 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred ninety-five new homes were constructed in Thornton, down from four hundred eighty-four the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Thornton are educational services, health care, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average commute to work is about 29 minutes. More than 19.9% of Thornton residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 4.8%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Thornton is 6.3%, which is less than Colorado's average of 6.6%.

The percentage of Thornton residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 30.4%, is less than both the national and state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Lutheran Church.