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Career and Education Opportunities for Legal Assistants in Miami, Florida

Miami, Florida provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for legal assistants. There are currently 19,240 jobs for legal assistants in Florida and this is projected to grow by 42% to about 27,360 jobs by 2016. This is better than 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.

Legal assistants earn approximately $21 hourly or $44,090 annually on average in Florida. Nationally they average about $22 per hour or $46,120 annually. Compared with people working in the overall category of Administration and Support, people working as legal assistants in Florida earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Administration and Support nationally. People working as legal assistants can fill a number of jobs, such as: proposal specialist, patent agent, and contracts specialist.

There are twelve schools within twenty-five miles of Miami where you can study to be a legal assistant, among ninety-eight schools of higher education total in the Miami 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 Miami 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

Broward College - Fort Lauderdale, FL

Broward College, 225 E las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. Broward College is a large college located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 33,527 students. Broward College has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated sixty-nine students in 2008.

Everest Institute-Kendall - Miami, FL

Everest Institute-Kendall, 9020 SW 137th Ave, Miami, FL 33186. Everest Institute-Kendall is a small school located in Miami, Florida. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 144 students and an admission rate of 85%. Everest Institute-Kendall has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated one student in 2008.

Keiser University-Ft. Lauderdale - Fort Lauderdale, FL

Keiser University-Ft. Lauderdale, 1500 NW 49th St., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309. Keiser University-Ft. Lauderdale is a large university located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 11,305 students and an admission rate of 41%. Keiser University-Ft. Lauderdale has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated 148 students in 2008.

City College - Miami, FL

City College, 9300 S Dadeland Blvd. Suite Ph, Miami, FL 33156. City College is a small college located in Miami, Florida. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 329 students and an admission rate of 61%. City College has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated five students in 2008.

Florida National College - Hialeah, FL

Florida National College, 4425 West 20 Avenue, Hialeah, FL 33012. Florida National College is a small college located in Hialeah, Florida. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 2,398 students. Florida National College has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated twelve students in 2008.

Miami Dade College - Miami, FL

Miami Dade College, 300 NE 2nd Ave., Miami, FL 33132-2297. Miami Dade College is a large college located in Miami, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 57,106 students. Miami Dade College has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated forty-six students in 2008.

Everest Institute-North Miami - Miami, FL

Everest Institute-North Miami, 111 NW 183rd St, Ste 200, Miami, FL 33169-4538. Everest Institute-North Miami is a small school located in Miami, Florida. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 155 students and an admission rate of 78%. Everest Institute-North Miami has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated eight students in 2008.

Key College - Dania Beach, FL

Key College, 225 East Dania Beach Blvd., #130, Dania Beach, FL 33004-3046. Key College is a small college located in Dania Beach, Florida. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 97 students and an admission rate of 78%. Key College has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated four students in 2008.

City College - Fort Lauderdale, FL

City College, 2000 W. Commerical Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309. City College is a small college located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 441 students and an admission rate of 74%. City College has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated fifteen students in 2008.

Nova Southeastern University - Fort Lauderdale, FL

Nova Southeastern University, 3301 College Ave, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314-7796. Nova Southeastern University is a large university located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 27,518 students and an admission rate of 45%. Nova Southeastern University has a bachelor's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated eighteen students in 2008.

Brown Mackie College-Miami - Miami, FL

Brown Mackie College-Miami, 1501 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132. Brown Mackie College-Miami is a small college located in Miami, Florida. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 153 students. Brown Mackie College-Miami has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated eight students in 2008.

Everest University-Pompano Beach - Pompano Beach, FL

Everest University-Pompano Beach, 225 N. Federal Hwy., Pompano Beach, FL 33062. Everest University-Pompano Beach is a small university located in Pompano Beach, Florida. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 614 students and an admission rate of 68%. Everest University-Pompano Beach has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated twenty and two 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: Miami, Florida

Miami, Florida
Miami, Florida photo by Averette

Miami is located in Miami-Dade County, Florida. It has a population of over 413,201, which has grown by 14.0% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Miami, 140, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Miami cost $273,500 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, thirty-seven new homes were built in Miami, down from seventy-three the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Miami are health care, accommodation and food services, and educational services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 28 minutes. More than 16.2% of Miami residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.7%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Miami is 12.5%, which is greater than Florida's average of 11.3%.

The percentage of Miami residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 39.6%, is less than both the national and state average. Church of Resurrection, Church of the Ascension and Church of the Incarnation are all churches located in Miami. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the Seventh-Day Adventist Church.

Miami is home to the Edison West Little River Neighborhood Center and the Miamarina South Pier Light as well as Belle Meade Park and 54th Street Mini Park. Shopping malls in the area include Central Shopping Center, Northside Mall and Northside Shopping Center. Visitors to Miami can choose from AmeriSuites Miami / Kendall, Four Seasons Hotel Miami and Airways Airport Inn & Suites for temporary stays in the area.