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Career and Education Opportunities for Legal Assistants in Fort Wayne, Indiana

Legal assistant career and educational opportunities abound in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Currently, 3,070 people work as legal assistants in Indiana. This is expected to grow by 21% to about 3,720 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. Legal assistants generally assist lawyers by researching legal precedent, investigating facts, or preparing legal documents.

A person working as a legal assistant can expect to earn about $17 hourly or $36,880 per year on average in Indiana and about $22 hourly or $46,120 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for legal assistants are better than in the overall category of Administration and Support in Indiana, and better than the overall Administration and Support category nationally. Jobs in this field include: document processor, paralegal, and litigation paralegal.

There are sixteen schools of higher education in the Fort Wayne area, including three within twenty-five miles of Fort Wayne where you can get a degree to start your career as a legal assistant. The most common level of education 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 Fort Wayne 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

Ivy Tech Community College-Northeast - Fort Wayne, IN

Ivy Tech Community College-Northeast, 3800 N Anthony Blvd, Fort Wayne, IN 46805-1489. Ivy Tech Community College-Northeast is a medium sized college located in Fort Wayne, Indiana. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,458 students. Ivy Tech Community College-Northeast has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated fourteen students in 2008.

International Business College - Fort Wayne, IN

International Business College, 5699 Coventry Lane, Fort Wayne, IN 46804-7145. International Business College is a small college located in Fort Wayne, Indiana. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 620 students. International Business College has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated nine students in 2008.

Brown Mackie College-Fort Wayne - Fort Wayne, IN

Brown Mackie College-Fort Wayne, 3000 E.Coliseum Blvd., Fort Wayne, IN 46805. Brown Mackie College-Fort Wayne is a small college located in Fort Wayne, Indiana. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,330 students. Brown Mackie College-Fort Wayne has less than one year, associate's degree, and bachelor's degree programs in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated two, nine, and zero 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: Fort Wayne, Indiana

Fort Wayne, Indiana
Fort Wayne, Indiana photo by FTSKfan

Fort Wayne is located in Allen County, Indiana. It has a population of over 215,661. The cost of living index in Fort Wayne, 77, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Fort Wayne are valued at $141,700 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirty-eight new homes were constructed in Fort Wayne, down from one hundred seventy-three the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Fort Wayne are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, transportation equipment, and metal and metal products. The average travel time to work is about 20 minutes. More than 19.4% of Fort Wayne residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.5%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Fort Wayne is 10.5%, which is greater than Indiana's average of 9.4%.

The percentage of Fort Wayne residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 50.2%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Memorial Church, Bethany Church and Souls Harbor Church are some of the churches located in Fort Wayne. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church and the United Methodist Church.

Fort Wayne is home to the Orchard Ridge Country Club and the Georgetown Square as well as Swinney Park and Rockhill Park. Shopping centers in the area include The Uncommons Shopping Center, Decatur Road Shopping Center and Ayr-Way West Shopping Center. Visitors to Fort Wayne can choose from Days Inn Airport Plaza, Purofirst of Allen County and Hometown Inn for temporary stays in the area.