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Career and Education Opportunities for Legal Assistants in St. Paul, Minnesota

Legal assistants can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the St. Paul, Minnesota area. About 4,250 people are currently employed as legal assistants in Minnesota. By 2016, this is expected to grow 19% to 5,070 people employed. 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 $23 hourly or $48,060 annually on average in Minnesota and about $22 hourly or $46,120 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for legal assistants are not quite as good as in the overall category of Administration and Support in Minnesota, and better than the overall Administration and Support category nationally. People working as legal assistants can fill a number of jobs, such as: real estate paralegal, corporate law assistant, and closing agent.

There are seventy-seven schools of higher education in the St. Paul area, including twelve within twenty-five miles of St. Paul 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. 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 St. Paul 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

Hamline University - Saint Paul, MN

Hamline University, 1536 Hewitt Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55104-1284. Hamline University is a small university located in Saint Paul, Minnesota. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,906 students and an admission rate of 80%. Hamline University has a postbaccalaureate certificate program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated sixteen students in 2008.

National American University-Bloomington - Bloomington, MN

National American University-Bloomington, 7801 Metro Parkway, Suite 200, Bloomington, MN 55425. National American University-Bloomington is a small university located in Bloomington, Minnesota. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 290 students. National American University-Bloomington has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated one and zero students respectively in 2008.

Minnesota School of Business - Richfield, MN

Minnesota School of Business, 1401 W 76 St, Richfield, MN 55423. Minnesota School of Business is a small school located in Richfield, Minnesota. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,479 students and an admission rate of 87%. Minnesota School of Business has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated twenty-one and three students respectively in 2008.

North Hennepin Community College - Brooklyn Park, MN

North Hennepin Community College, 7411 85th Ave N, Brooklyn Park, MN 55445. North Hennepin Community College is a medium sized college located in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,904 students. North Hennepin Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated nineteen and twenty-eight students respectively in 2008.

Inver Hills Community College - Inver Grove Heights, MN

Inver Hills Community College, 2500 80th St E, Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076-3224. Inver Hills Community College is a medium sized college located in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,608 students. Inver Hills Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated twenty-three and thirty-five students respectively in 2008.

Minnesota School of Business - Plymouth, MN

Minnesota School of Business, 1455 County Rd 101 North, Plymouth, MN 55447. Minnesota School of Business is a small school located in Plymouth, Minnesota. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 520 students. Minnesota School of Business has one to two year, associate's degree, and bachelor's degree programs in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated two, six, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Minnesota School of Business-Shakopee - Shakopee, MN

Minnesota School of Business-Shakopee, 1200 Shakopee Town Square, Shakopee, MN 55379. Minnesota School of Business-Shakopee is a small school located in Shakopee, Minnesota. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 542 students and an admission rate of 99%. Minnesota School of Business-Shakopee has one to two year, associate's degree, and bachelor's degree programs in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated two, eight, and one students respectively in 2008.

Rasmussen College-Lake Elmo - Lake Elmo, MN

Rasmussen College-Lake Elmo, 8565 Eagle Point Circle, Lake Elmo, MN 55042-8637. Rasmussen College-Lake Elmo is a small college located in Lake Elmo, Minnesota. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 541 students. Rasmussen College-Lake Elmo has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal.

Minnesota School of Business-Brooklyn Center - Brooklyn Center, MN

Minnesota School of Business-Brooklyn Center, 5910 Shingle Creek Pky, Brooklyn Center, MN 55430. Minnesota School of Business-Brooklyn Center is a small school located in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 700 students and an admission rate of 98%. Minnesota School of Business-Brooklyn Center has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated fourteen and three students respectively in 2008.

Minnesota School of Business - Blaine, MN

Minnesota School of Business, 3680 Pheasant Ridge Dr NE, Blaine, MN 55449. Minnesota School of Business is a small school located in Blaine, Minnesota. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 754 students and an admission rate of 100%. Minnesota School of Business has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal.

Globe University - Woodbury, MN

Globe University, 8089 Globe Drive, Woodbury, MN 55125-3388. Globe University is a small university located in Woodbury, Minnesota. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 856 students and an admission rate of 88%. Globe University has one to two year, associate's degree, and bachelor's degree programs in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated three, seventeen, and six students respectively in 2008.

National American University-Brooklyn Center - Brooklyn Center, MN

National American University-Brooklyn Center, 6120 Earle Brown Drive, Suite 100, Brooklyn Center, MN 55430-4100. National American University-Brooklyn Center is a small university located in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 339 students. National American University-Brooklyn Center has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated one student 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: St. Paul, Minnesota

St. Paul, Minnesota
St. Paul, Minnesota photo by Gridge

St. Paul is located in Ramsey County, Minnesota. It has a population of over 279,590, which has shrunk by 2.6% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in St. Paul, 99, is near the national average. New single-family homes in St. Paul are valued at $213,300 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, thirty new homes were built in St. Paul, down from seventy-four the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in St. Paul are educational services, health care, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 21 minutes. More than 32.0% of St. Paul residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in St. Paul is 7.4%, which is greater than Minnesota's average of 7.0%.

The percentage of St. Paul residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 61.3%, is more than both the national and state average. Zion Church, Convent of the Visitation and Saint Paul Cathedral are some of the churches located in St. Paul. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Baptist General Conference.

St. Paul is home to the Saint Paul Orphange and the Wilder Center as well as Terrace Park and East View Playground.