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Career and Education Opportunities for Legal Assistants in Jacksonville, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for legal assistants. About 19,240 people are currently employed as legal assistants in Florida. By 2016, this is expected to grow 42% to about 27,360 people employed. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for legal assistants are expected to grow by about 28.1%. Legal assistants generally assist lawyers by researching legal precedent, investigating facts, or preparing legal documents.

Legal assistants earn about $21 per hour or $44,090 per year on average in Florida and about $22 per hour or $46,120 annually on average nationally. Legal assistants earn more than people working in the category of Administration and Support generally in Florida and more than people in the Administration and Support category nationally. People working as legal assistants can fill a number of jobs, such as: labor and employment certified paralegal, legal researcher, and legal aide.

There are four schools within twenty-five miles of Jacksonville where you can study to be a legal assistant, among thirty-three schools of higher education total in the Jacksonville area. 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 Jacksonville 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

Florida Technical College of Jacksonville Inc - Jacksonville, FL

Florida Technical College of Jacksonville Inc, 8711 Lone Star Rd, Jacksonville, FL 32211-5123. Florida Technical College of Jacksonville Inc is a small college located in Jacksonville, Florida. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 204 students and an admission rate of 66%. Florida Technical College of Jacksonville Inc has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated one student in 2008.

Everest University-Jacksonville - Jacksonville, FL

Everest University-Jacksonville, 8226 Phillips Hwy, Jacksonville, FL 32256-1240. Everest University-Jacksonville is a small university located in Jacksonville, Florida. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 438 students and an admission rate of 75%. Everest University-Jacksonville has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated ten students in 2008.

Florida Community College at Jacksonville - Jacksonville, FL

Florida Community College at Jacksonville, 501 W State St, Jacksonville, FL 32202. Florida Community College at Jacksonville is a large college located in Jacksonville, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 25,686 students. Florida Community College at Jacksonville has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated forty-five students in 2008.

Jones College-Jacksonville - Jacksonville, FL

Jones College-Jacksonville, 5353 Arlington Expy, Jacksonville, FL 32211. Jones College-Jacksonville is a small college located in Jacksonville, Florida. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 558 students. Jones College-Jacksonville has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated four and ten 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: Jacksonville, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida photo by Digon3

Jacksonville is located in Duval County, Florida. It has a population of over 807,815, which has grown by 9.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Jacksonville, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Jacksonville are valued at $173,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, 2,592 new homes were built in Jacksonville, down from 3,449 the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Jacksonville are health care, finance and insurance, and educational services. For men, it is construction, finance and insurance, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 21.1% of Jacksonville residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.5%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Jacksonville is 10.9%, which is less than Florida's average of 11.3%.

The percentage of Jacksonville residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 44.2%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Church of God-West Jacksonville, Church of Good Shepherd and Church of Our Savior are among the churches located in Jacksonville. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Jacksonville is home to the Pearl Plaza and the Lane Center as well as Memorial Park and James Park. Shopping centers in the area include 5 Points West Shopping Center, Lone Star Road Shopping Center and Normandy Mall. Visitors to Jacksonville can choose from Civista Inn, Best Western Baldwin Inn and City Center Motel for temporary stays in the area.