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Career and Education Opportunities for Legal Assistants in Detroit, Michigan

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for legal assistants in the Detroit, Michigan area. Currently, 4,620 people work as legal assistants in Michigan. This is expected to grow 20% to about 5,530 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as 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.

A person working as a legal assistant can expect to earn about $22 per hour or $47,800 annually on average in Michigan and about $22 per hour 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 Michigan, and better than the overall Administration and Support category nationally. People working as legal assistants can fill a number of jobs, such as: bankruptcy assistant, contract preparer, and immigration specialist.

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

Henry Ford Community College - Dearborn, MI

Henry Ford Community College, 5101 Evergreen Rd, Dearborn, MI 48128-1495. Henry Ford Community College is a large college located in Dearborn, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,571 students. Henry Ford Community College has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated seventeen students in 2008.

Academy of Court Reporting-Clawson - Clawson, MI

Academy of Court Reporting-Clawson, 1055 West Maple Road, Clawson, MI 48017-1052. Academy of Court Reporting-Clawson is a small school located in Clawson, Michigan. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 325 students. Academy of Court Reporting-Clawson has a one to two year program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated fifteen students in 2008.

Eastern Michigan University - Ypsilanti, MI

Eastern Michigan University, , Ypsilanti, MI 48197. Eastern Michigan University is a large university located in Ypsilanti, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 22,137 students and an admission rate of 75%. Eastern Michigan University has a bachelor's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated nineteen students in 2008.

Baker College of Allen Park - Allen Park, MI

Baker College of Allen Park, 4500 Enterprise Dr, Allen Park, MI 48101. Baker College of Allen Park is a small college located in Allen Park, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 2,548 students. Baker College of Allen Park has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated ten students in 2008.

Baker College of Auburn Hills - Auburn Hills, MI

Baker College of Auburn Hills, 1500 University Dr, Auburn Hills, MI 48326-2642. Baker College of Auburn Hills is a small college located in Auburn Hills, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 3,848 students. Baker College of Auburn Hills has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated nineteen students in 2008.

Lawton School - Southfield, MI

Lawton School, 20755 Greenfield Suite 300, Southfield, MI 48075. Lawton School is a small school located in Southfield, Michigan. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 61 students. Lawton School has a less than one year program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated thirteen students in 2008.

Oakland Community College - Bloomfield Hills, MI

Oakland Community College, 2480 Opdyke Rd, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304-2266. Oakland Community College is a large college located in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 24,957 students. Oakland Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated thirty-three and forty-eight students respectively in 2008.

Baker College of Clinton Township - Clinton Township, MI

Baker College of Clinton Township, 34950 Little Mack Ave, Clinton Township, MI 48035. Baker College of Clinton Township is a medium sized college located in Clinton Township, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 5,666 students. Baker College of Clinton Township has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated twenty-eight students in 2008.

University of Detroit Mercy - Detroit, MI

University of Detroit Mercy, 4001 W McNichols Rd, Detroit, MI 48221-3038. University of Detroit Mercy is a medium sized university located in Detroit, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,725 students and an admission rate of 64%. University of Detroit Mercy has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal.

Lawton School Warren Branch - Warren, MI

Lawton School Warren Branch, 13877 E. 8 Mile Rd, Warren, MI 48089-3352. Lawton School Warren Branch is a small school located in Warren, Michigan. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 80 students. Lawton School Warren Branch has a less than one year program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated one student in 2008.

Madonna University - Livonia, MI

Madonna University, 36600 Schoolcraft Rd, Livonia, MI 48150-1176. Madonna University is a small university located in Livonia, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,015 students and an admission rate of 76%. Madonna University has associate's degree, two to four year, bachelor's degree, and postbaccalaureate certificate programs in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated zero, one, zero, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Wayne County Community College District - Detroit, MI

Wayne County Community College District, 801 W Fort St, Detroit, MI 48226. Wayne County Community College District is a large college located in Detroit, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 21,540 students. Wayne County Community College District has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated seven students 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: Detroit, Michigan

Detroit, Michigan
Detroit, Michigan photo by Durova

Detroit is located in Wayne County, Michigan. It has a population of over 912,062, which has shrunk by 4.1% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Detroit, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Detroit are priced at $108,900 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, eighty-five new homes were built in Detroit, down from one hundred fifty-four the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Detroit are health care, educational services, and transportation equipment. For men, it is transportation equipment, construction, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average commute to work is about 28 minutes. More than 11.0% of Detroit residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 4.2%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Detroit is 27.0%, which is greater than Michigan's average of 14.3%.

The percentage of Detroit residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.7%, is less than both the national and state average. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Detroit is home to the Memorial Park Marina and the Detroit Golf Club as well as Chene Park and Mallett Playground. Visitors to Detroit can choose from Corktown Inn, Clark's Motel and Days Inn of Downtown Detroit for temporary stays in the area.