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Career and Education Opportunities for Legal Assistants in Bridgeport, Connecticut

Legal assistants can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Bridgeport, Connecticut area. There are currently 4,680 working legal assistants in Connecticut; this should grow 14% to 5,340 working legal assistants in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for legal assistants, which sees this job pool growing by about 28.1% over the next eight years. In general, legal assistants assist lawyers by researching legal precedent, investigating facts, or preparing legal documents.

The income of a legal assistant is about $23 hourly or $48,210 yearly on average in Connecticut. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $22 hourly or $46,120 annually on average. Earnings for legal assistants are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Administration and Support in Connecticut and better than general Administration and Support category earnings nationally. Legal assistants work in a variety of jobs, including: proposal specialist, legal aide, and contract preparer.

There are eight schools within twenty-five miles of Bridgeport where you can study to be a legal assistant, among seventy-five schools of higher education total in the Bridgeport area. 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 Bridgeport 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

Naugatuck Valley Community College - Waterbury, CT

Naugatuck Valley Community College, 750 Chase Parkway, Waterbury, CT 06708-3089. Naugatuck Valley Community College is a medium sized college located in Waterbury, Connecticut. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,880 students. Naugatuck Valley Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated eight and fourteen students respectively in 2008.

Branford Hall Career Institute-Branford Campus - Branford, CT

Branford Hall Career Institute-Branford Campus, 1 Summit Place, Branford, CT 06405-4103. Branford Hall Career Institute-Branford Campus is a small school located in Branford, Connecticut. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 681 students. Branford Hall Career Institute-Branford Campus has a one to two year program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated eighty-three students in 2008.

Post University - Waterbury, CT

Post University, 800 Country Club Rd, Waterbury, CT 06723. Post University is a small university located in Waterbury, Connecticut. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,687 students and an admission rate of 51%. Post University has less than one year, associate's degree, and bachelor's degree programs in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated zero, one, and two students respectively in 2008.

Briarwood College - Southington, CT

Briarwood College, 2279 Mount Vernon Rd, Southington, CT 06489-1057. Briarwood College is a small college located in Southington, Connecticut. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 715 students. Briarwood College has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated three students in 2008.

SUNY Westchester Community College - Valhalla, NY

SUNY Westchester Community College, 75 Grasslands Road, Valhalla, NY 10595. SUNY Westchester Community College is a large college located in Valhalla, New York. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,090 students. SUNY Westchester Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated twenty and seventeen students respectively in 2008.

Norwalk Community College - Norwalk, CT

Norwalk Community College, 188 Richards Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06854. Norwalk Community College is a medium sized college located in Norwalk, Connecticut. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,266 students. Norwalk Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated ten and nine students respectively in 2008.

University of New Haven - West Haven, CT

University of New Haven, 300 Boston Post Road, West Haven, CT 06516. University of New Haven is a medium sized university located in West Haven, Connecticut. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,739 students and an admission rate of 68%. University of New Haven has a less than one year program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated eleven students in 2008.

Branford Hall Career Institute-Southington Campus - Southington, CT

Branford Hall Career Institute-Southington Campus, 35 N Main St, Southington, CT 06489. Branford Hall Career Institute-Southington Campus is a small school located in Southington, Connecticut. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 570 students. Branford Hall Career Institute-Southington Campus has a one to two year program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated thirty-three 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: Bridgeport, Connecticut

Bridgeport, Connecticut
Bridgeport, Connecticut photo by Xtremeyanksfan22

Bridgeport is located in Fairfield County, Connecticut. It has a population of over 136,405, which has shrunk by 2.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Bridgeport, 151, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Bridgeport are valued at $110,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, twenty-six new homes were built in Bridgeport, down from forty-one the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Bridgeport are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, administrative and support and waste management services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 12.2% of Bridgeport residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 4.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Bridgeport is 12.1%, which is greater than Connecticut's average of 8.3%.

The percentage of Bridgeport residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 70.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Calvary Episcopal Church, Golden Hill United Methodist Church and Good Shepherd Christian Church are among the churches located in Bridgeport. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Episcopal Church and the United Church of Christ.

Bridgeport is home to the North Branch Bridgeport Public Library and the Challenger Learning Center as well as Went Field and Johnson Oak Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lafayette Shopping Plaza Shopping Center, Baldwin Plaza Shopping Center and Bayview Shopping Center.