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Career and Education Opportunities for Legal Assistants in Dover, Delaware

Legal assistant career and educational opportunities abound in Dover, Delaware. Currently, 1,430 people work as legal assistants in Delaware. This is expected to grow 17% to about 1,670 people 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 hourly or $48,310 annually on average in Delaware. Nationally, their income is about $22 per hour or $46,120 yearly. Compared with people working in the overall category of Administration and Support, people working as legal assistants in Delaware earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Administration and Support nationally. Legal assistants work in a variety of jobs, including: title curator, research analyst, and document processor.

There are two schools within twenty-five miles of Dover where you can study to be a legal assistant, among seven schools of higher education total in the Dover area. Given that the most common education level for legal assistants is a Bachelor's degree, 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 Dover 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.
  • 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

Wesley College - Dover, DE

Wesley College, 120 N State St, Dover, DE 19901-3875. Wesley College is a small college located in Dover, Delaware. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,290 students and an admission rate of 77%. Wesley College has one to two year, associate's degree, and bachelor's degree programs in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated zero, one, and six students respectively in 2008.

Cumberland County College - Vineland, NJ

Cumberland County College, 3322 College Drive, Vineland, NJ 08362-1500. Cumberland County College is a small college located in Vineland, New Jersey. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,822 students. Cumberland County College has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated 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: Dover, Delaware

Dover, Delaware
Dover, Delaware photo by Malepheasant

Dover is situated in Kent County, Delaware. It has a population of over 36,107, which has grown by 12.4% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Dover, 85, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Dover are priced at $116,700 on average, which is above the state average. In 2008, one hundred twenty-nine new homes were built in Dover, down from one hundred eighty-nine the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Dover are educational services, health care, and public administration. For men, it is public administration, educational services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 19 minutes. More than 28.8% of Dover residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 11.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Dover is 9.4%, which is greater than Delaware's average of 8.5%. About 13.8% of Dover's residents are below the poverty line, which is worse than the state average.

The percentage of Dover residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 32.1%, is less than both the national and state average. Saint Andrews Lutheran Church, Beth Shalom Congregation and Bethuel Seventh Day Adventist Church are among the churches located in Dover. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Dover is home to the Kent Swim Club and the Transportation Administration Center as well as Eden Hill and Richardson Park. Shopping malls in the area include Blue Hen Mall and Dover Mall. Visitors to Dover can choose from Inn at Meeting House Square, Little Creek Inn and Ramada Inn for temporary stays in the area.