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Career and Education Opportunities for Legal Assistants in Wilmington, Delaware

For those living in the Wilmington, Delaware area, there are many career and education opportunities for legal assistants. There are currently 1,430 jobs for legal assistants in Delaware and this is projected to grow by 17% to about 1,670 jobs 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. Legal assistants generally assist lawyers by researching legal precedent, investigating facts, or preparing legal documents.

Legal assistants earn about $23 hourly or $48,310 annually on average in Delaware and about $22 per hour or $46,120 annually on average nationally. 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: closing agent, legal investigator, and immigration specialist.

There are nine schools within twenty-five miles of Wilmington where you can study to be a legal assistant, among 109 schools of higher education total in the Wilmington area. Legal assistants usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so 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 Wilmington 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

Peirce College - Philadelphia, PA

Peirce College, 1420 Pine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102-4699. Peirce College is a small college located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 2,009 students. Peirce College has one to two year, associate's degree, and bachelor's degree programs in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated fifteen, twenty-five, and fifty-two students respectively in 2008.

Community College of Philadelphia - Philadelphia, PA

Community College of Philadelphia, 1700 Spring Garden St, Philadelphia, PA 19130-3991. Community College of Philadelphia is a large college located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 17,293 students. Community College of Philadelphia has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated fifty-three students in 2008.

PJA School - Upper Darby, PA

PJA School, 7900 W Chester Pke, Upper Darby, PA 19082-1917. PJA School is a small school located in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 356 students and an admission rate of 64%. PJA School has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated twenty-one and forty-six students respectively in 2008.

Gloucester County College - Sewell, NJ

Gloucester County College, 1400 Tanyard Road, Sewell, NJ 08080. Gloucester County College is a medium sized college located in Sewell, New Jersey. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,135 students. Gloucester County College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated one and nine students respectively in 2008.

Manor College - Jenkintown, PA

Manor College, 700 Fox Chase Rd, Jenkintown, PA 19046-3399. Manor College is a small college located in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 958 students and an admission rate of 44%. Manor College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated five and ten students respectively in 2008.

Prism Career Institute - Philadelphia, PA

Prism Career Institute, 8040 Roosevelt Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA 19152. Prism Career Institute is a small school located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 100 students and an admission rate of 58%. Prism Career Institute has a one to two year program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal.

Delaware County Community College - Media, PA

Delaware County Community College, 901 S Media Line Rd, Media, PA 19063-1094. Delaware County Community College is a large college located in Media, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,109 students. Delaware County Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated six and sixteen students respectively in 2008.

Dawn Training Centre - Wilmington, DE

Dawn Training Centre, 3700 Lancaster Pike Suite 105, Wilmington, DE 19805. Dawn Training Centre is a small school located in Wilmington, Delaware. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 339 students and an admission rate of 100%. Dawn Training Centre has a less than one year program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated fifteen students in 2008.

Widener University-Delaware Campus - Wilmington, DE

Widener University-Delaware Campus, 4601 Concord Pike, Wilmington, DE 19803. Widener University-Delaware Campus is a small university located in Wilmington, Delaware. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,211 students. Widener University-Delaware Campus has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated five and nine 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: Wilmington, Delaware

Wilmington, Delaware
Wilmington, Delaware photo by Malepheasant

Wilmington is located in New Castle County, Delaware. It has a population of over 72,592, which has shrunk by 0.1% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Wilmington, 102, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Wilmington are valued at $58,400 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, twenty-eight new homes were built in Wilmington, down from forty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Wilmington are finance and insurance, health care, and educational services. For men, it is finance and insurance, construction, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 21.4% of Wilmington residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Wilmington is 13.3%, which is greater than Delaware's average of 8.5%.

The percentage of Wilmington residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 45.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Saint Andrews Church, Sacred Heart Catholic Church and Beth Shalom Congregation are among the churches located in Wilmington. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Wilmington is home to the Interchange 3 and the The Rocks as well as Rodney Square and Cool Spring Park. Visitors to Wilmington can choose from Howard Johnson Restaurants, Riverview Motel and Hotel Du Pont for temporary stays in the area.