Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.


Career and Education Opportunities for Legal Assistants in St. Louis, Missouri

If you want to be a legal assistant, the St. Louis, Missouri area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. About 4,810 people are currently employed as legal assistants in Missouri. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 20% to 5,750 people employed. 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.

Legal assistants earn approximately $19 hourly or $41,360 annually on average in Missouri. Nationally they average about $22 per hour or $46,120 yearly. Compared with people working in the overall category of Administration and Support, people working as legal assistants in Missouri earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Administration and Support nationally. Legal assistants work in a variety of jobs, including: paralegal, legal researcher, and paralegal specialist.

The St. Louis area is home to seventy-one schools of higher education, including ten within twenty-five miles of St. Louis where you can get a degree as a legal assistant. Given that the most common education level 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. Louis 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

Sanford-Brown College - Fenton, MO

Sanford-Brown College, 1345 Smizer Mill Road, Fenton, MO 63026-3400. Sanford-Brown College is a small college located in Fenton, Missouri. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 885 students. Sanford-Brown College has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated twenty-seven students in 2008.

Hickey College - Saint Louis, MO

Hickey College, 940 Westport Plaza, Saint Louis, MO 63146. Hickey College is a small college located in Saint Louis, Missouri. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 442 students. Hickey College has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated eleven students in 2008.

Saint Louis Community College-Meramec - Kirkwood, MO

Saint Louis Community College-Meramec, 11333 Big Bend Blvd, Kirkwood, MO 63122. Saint Louis Community College-Meramec is a large college located in Kirkwood, Missouri. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,217 students. Saint Louis Community College-Meramec has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated thirty-two and twenty-six students respectively in 2008.

Lewis and Clark Community College - Godfrey, IL

Lewis and Clark Community College, 5800 Godfrey Rd, Godfrey, IL 62035. Lewis and Clark Community College is a medium sized college located in Godfrey, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,016 students. Lewis and Clark Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated twelve and nine students respectively in 2008.

Maryville University of Saint Louis - Saint Louis, MO

Maryville University of Saint Louis, 650 Maryville University Drive, Saint Louis, MO 63141-7299. Maryville University of Saint Louis is a small university located in Saint Louis, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,522 students and an admission rate of 54%. Maryville University of Saint Louis has a bachelor's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated fifteen students in 2008.

Southwestern Illinois College - Belleville, IL

Southwestern Illinois College, 2500 Carlyle Ave, Belleville, IL 62221-5899. Southwestern Illinois College is a large college located in Belleville, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 14,308 students. Southwestern Illinois College has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated forty-six students in 2008.

Webster University - Saint Louis, MO

Webster University, 470 E Lockwood Ave., Saint Louis, MO 63119-3194. Webster University is a large university located in Saint Louis, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 18,237 students and an admission rate of 57%. Webster University has a postbaccalaureate certificate program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated two students in 2008.

Sanford-Brown College - Hazelwood, MO

Sanford-Brown College, 75 Village Square, Hazelwood, MO 63042. Sanford-Brown College is a small college located in Hazelwood, Missouri. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 722 students. Sanford-Brown College has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated nine students in 2008.

Patricia Stevens College - Saint Louis, MO

Patricia Stevens College, 330 North Fourth Street, Suite 306, Saint Louis, MO 63102-2008. Patricia Stevens College is a small college located in Saint Louis, Missouri. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 182 students and an admission rate of 50%. Patricia Stevens College has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated seven and zero students respectively in 2008.

Saint Louis Community College-Florissant Valley - Saint Louis, MO

Saint Louis Community College-Florissant Valley, 3400 Pershall Rd, Saint Louis, MO 63135. Saint Louis Community College-Florissant Valley is a medium sized college located in Saint Louis, Missouri. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,515 students. Saint Louis Community College-Florissant Valley has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated nine and twelve 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: St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis, Missouri photo by Dschwen

St. Louis is located in St. Louis City County, Missouri. It has a population of over 354,361, which has grown by 1.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in St. Louis, 83, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in St. Louis are priced at $111,600 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, one hundred fifty-seven new homes were built in St. Louis, down from two hundred sixty-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in St. Louis are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is accommodation and food services, construction, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 25 minutes. More than 19.1% of St. Louis residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in St. Louis is 10.9%, which is greater than Missouri's average of 8.9%.

Nativity of Our Lord Church, Church of the Good Shepard and Church of the Holy Communion are among the churches located in St. Louis.

St. Louis is home to the Terminal Railroad Association Building and the Memorial Home as well as Washington Park and Willmore Park. Shopping malls in the area include Hampton Village Shopping Center and Loughborough Shopping Center.