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Career and Education Opportunities for Legal Assistants in Omaha, Nebraska

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for legal assistants in the Omaha, Nebraska area. There are currently 880 working legal assistants in Nebraska; this should grow by 27% to 1,110 working legal assistants in the state 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%. In general, legal assistants assist lawyers by researching legal precedent, investigating facts, or preparing legal documents.

Legal assistants earn approximately $17 per hour or $36,230 yearly on average in Nebraska. Nationally they average about $22 per hour or $46,120 annually. Earnings for legal assistants are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Administration and Support in Nebraska and better than general Administration and Support category earnings nationally. People working as legal assistants can fill a number of jobs, such as: legal paraprofessional, corporate legal assistant, and corporate law assistant.

There are thirty-one schools of higher education in the Omaha area, including five within twenty-five miles of Omaha 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 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 Omaha 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

Kaplan University-Omaha Campus - Omaha, NE

Kaplan University-Omaha Campus, 5417 N. 103rd St., Omaha, NE 68134-1002. Kaplan University-Omaha Campus is a small university located in Omaha, Nebraska. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,126 students. Kaplan University-Omaha Campus has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated twelve students in 2008.

Doane College-Lincoln Grand Island and Master - Lincoln, NE

Doane College-Lincoln Grand Island and Master, 303 N 52nd St, Lincoln, NE 68504. Doane College-Lincoln Grand Island and Master is a small college located in Lincoln, Nebraska. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,651 students. Doane College-Lincoln Grand Island and Master has a bachelor's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated two students in 2008.

Midland Lutheran College - Fremont, NE

Midland Lutheran College, 900 N. Clarkson, Fremont, NE 68025. Midland Lutheran College is a small college located in Fremont, Nebraska. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 801 students and an admission rate of 78%. Midland Lutheran College has a bachelor's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal.

College of Saint Mary - Omaha, NE

College of Saint Mary, 7000 Mercy Rd., Omaha, NE 68106. College of Saint Mary is a small college located in Omaha, Nebraska. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 953 students and an admission rate of 45%. College of Saint Mary has associate's degree, bachelor's degree, and postbaccalaureate certificate programs in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated two, eight, and four students respectively in 2008.

Metropolitan Community College Area - Omaha, NE

Metropolitan Community College Area, 30 & Fort Street, Omaha, NE 68111-1610. Metropolitan Community College Area is a large college located in Omaha, Nebraska. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,055 students. Metropolitan Community College Area has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated nine and seventeen 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: Omaha, Nebraska

Omaha, Nebraska
Omaha, Nebraska photo by Yassie

Omaha is located in Douglas County, Nebraska. It has a population of over 438,646, which has grown by 12.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Omaha, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Omaha are valued at $105,100 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, 1,576 new homes were built in Omaha, down from 1,905 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Omaha are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 18 minutes. More than 28.7% of Omaha residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Omaha is 4.7%, which is greater than Nebraska's average of 4.5%.

The percentage of Omaha residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 54.5%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Calvary Baptist Church, Calvary Chapel of Omaha and Calvary Foursquare Gospel Church are all churches located in Omaha. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Lutheran Church.

Omaha is home to the Gibson and the Cedar Hills Golf Course as well as Al Caniglia Field and Adams Park. Shopping malls in the area include Frederick Square Shopping Center, North Park Shopping Center and Oak View Mall. Visitors to Omaha can choose from Countryside Suites, Hampton Inn Omaha-Central and Townhouse Inn for temporary stays in the area.