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Career and Education Opportunities for Legal Assistants in Pembroke Pines, Florida

Legal assistants can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Pembroke Pines, Florida area. About 19,240 people are currently employed as legal assistants in Florida. By 2016, this is expected to grow 42% to 27,360 people employed. 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. 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 hourly or $46,120 annually on average nationally. Incomes for legal assistants are better than in the overall category of Administration and Support in Florida, and better than the overall Administration and Support category nationally. Jobs in this field include: title curator, patent agent, and judicial assistant.

There are ninety-seven schools of higher education in the Pembroke Pines area, including twelve within twenty-five miles of Pembroke Pines where you can get a degree to start your career 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 Pembroke Pines 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.

Palm Beach Community College - Lake Worth, FL

Palm Beach Community College, 4200 Congress Ave, Lake Worth, FL 33461-4796. Palm Beach Community College is a large college located in Lake Worth, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 25,122 students. Palm Beach Community College has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated thirty-four students 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.

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.

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.

South University-West Palm Beach - West Palm Beach, FL

South University-West Palm Beach, 1760 N Congress Ave, West Palm Beach, FL 33409. South University-West Palm Beach is a small university located in West Palm Beach, Florida. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 752 students. South University-West Palm Beach has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated three 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: Pembroke Pines, Florida

Pembroke Pines, Florida
Pembroke Pines, Florida photo by Dawn Ashley

Pembroke Pines is situated in Broward County, Florida. It has a population of over 145,661, which has grown by 6.0% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Pembroke Pines, 116, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Pembroke Pines are valued at $117,100 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, five new homes were built in Pembroke Pines, up from three the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Pembroke Pines are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is public administration, construction, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 32 minutes. More than 28.7% of Pembroke Pines residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Pembroke Pines is 8.6%, which is less than Florida's average of 11.3%.

The percentage of Pembroke Pines residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 45.9%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Pembroke Road Baptist Church, Boulevard Chapel and Taft Street Chapel are all churches located in Pembroke Pines. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Pembroke Pines is home to the Hollywood Lakes Country Club and the Pines Bank Plaza as well as Kennedy Park and Snake Creek Park. Shopping malls in the area include Pembroke Pines Shopping Center, Pembroke Village Shopping Center and University Mall.