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Career and Education Opportunities for Legal Assistants in Hartford, Connecticut

Hartford, Connecticut provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for legal assistants. There are currently 4,680 working legal assistants in Connecticut; this should grow 14% to about 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.

Income for legal assistants is about $23 per hour or $48,210 annually on average in Connecticut. Nationally, their income is about $22 per hour or $46,120 annually. 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. People working as legal assistants can fill a number of jobs, such as: certified paralegal, document processor, and corporate paralegal.

The Hartford area is home to sixty-two schools of higher education, including eight within twenty-five miles of Hartford where you can get a degree 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 Hartford 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.

College of Our Lady of the Elms - Chicopee, MA

College of Our Lady of the Elms, 291 Springfield St, Chicopee, MA 01013. College of Our Lady of the Elms is a small college located in Chicopee, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,219 students and an admission rate of 82%. College of Our Lady of the Elms has one to two year, associate's degree, and bachelor's degree programs in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated six, one, and one 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.

Branford Hall Career Institute-Windsor Campus - Windsor, CT

Branford Hall Career Institute-Windsor Campus, 995 Day Hill Rd, Windsor, CT 06095. Branford Hall Career Institute-Windsor Campus is a small school located in Windsor, Connecticut. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 407 students. Branford Hall Career Institute-Windsor Campus has a one to two year program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated thirty-seven 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.

University of Hartford - West Hartford, CT

University of Hartford, 200 Bloomfield Ave, West Hartford, CT 06117-1599. University of Hartford is a medium sized university located in West Hartford, Connecticut. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,366 students and an admission rate of 60%. University of Hartford has less than one year, associate's degree, and bachelor's degree programs in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated seventeen, four, and four students respectively in 2008.

Bay Path College - Longmeadow, MA

Bay Path College, 588 Longmeadow Street, Longmeadow, MA 01106. Bay Path College is a small college located in Longmeadow, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,727 students and an admission rate of 83%. Bay Path College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated seven and eight students respectively in 2008.

Manchester Community College - Manchester, CT

Manchester Community College, Great Path, Manchester, CT 06045-1046. Manchester Community College is a medium sized college located in Manchester, Connecticut. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,649 students. Manchester Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated five and fourteen students respectively 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: Hartford, Connecticut

Hartford, Connecticut
Hartford, Connecticut photo by Contimm

Hartford is situated in Hartford County, Connecticut. It has a population of over 124,062, which has grown by 2.0% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Hartford, 104, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Hartford cost $82,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, eight new homes were constructed in Hartford, down from twelve the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Hartford are health care, finance and insurance, and educational services. For men, it is administrative and support and waste management services, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 24 minutes. More than 12.4% of Hartford residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 5.2%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Hartford is 14.4%, which is greater than Connecticut's average of 8.3%.

The percentage of Hartford residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.4%, is more than both the national and state average. Our Lady of Sorrows Church, All Saints Orthodox Church and Sacred Heart Church are all churches located in Hartford. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the Episcopal Church.

Hartford is home to the Albany Avenue Branch Hartford Public Library and the North Meadows Industrial Park as well as Little Hollywood Historic District and West End North Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Park Plaza Shopping Center, Pavillion at State House Shopping Center and Civic Center Mall Shopping Center.