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Career and Education Opportunities for Legal Assistants in Manchester, New Hampshire

There are many career and education opportunities for legal assistants in the Manchester, New Hampshire area. There are currently 1,100 working legal assistants in New Hampshire; this should grow 18% to about 1,300 working legal assistants in the state 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.

The income of a legal assistant is about $20 per hour or $43,640 annually on average in New Hampshire. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $22 per hour or $46,120 per year on average. Incomes for legal assistants are better than in the overall category of Administration and Support in New Hampshire, and better than the overall Administration and Support category nationally. Legal assistants work in a variety of jobs, including: contracts specialist, certified paralegal, and legal analyst.

The Manchester area is home to forty-two schools of higher education, including eight within twenty-five miles of Manchester 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, 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 Manchester 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

McIntosh College - Dover, NH

McIntosh College, 23 Cataract Ave, Dover, NH 03820. McIntosh College is a small college located in Dover, New Hampshire. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 356 students. McIntosh College has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated eighteen students in 2008.

Northern Essex Community College - Haverhill, MA

Northern Essex Community College, 100 Elliott Street, Haverhill, MA 01830-2399. Northern Essex Community College is a medium sized college located in Haverhill, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,020 students. Northern Essex Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated six and eleven students respectively in 2008.

Nashua Community College - Nashua, NH

Nashua Community College, 505 Amherst St, Nashua, NH 03063-1026. Nashua Community College is a small college located in Nashua, New Hampshire. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,925 students. Nashua Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated five and eight students respectively in 2008.

Mount Wachusett Community College - Gardner, MA

Mount Wachusett Community College, 444 Green St, Gardner, MA 01440-1000. Mount Wachusett Community College is a small college located in Gardner, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,385 students. Mount Wachusett Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated fifteen and eighteen students respectively in 2008.

North Shore Community College - Danvers, MA

North Shore Community College, 1 Ferncroft Rd, Danvers, MA 01923-0840. North Shore Community College is a medium sized college located in Danvers, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,223 students. North Shore Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated four and sixteen students respectively in 2008.

Hesser College - Manchester, NH

Hesser College, 3 Sundial Ave, Manchester, NH 03103-9969. Hesser College is a small college located in Manchester, New Hampshire. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 3,748 students. Hesser College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated zero and forty-two students respectively in 2008.

Granite State College - Concord, NH

Granite State College, 8 Old Suncook Road, Concord, NH 03301-7317. Granite State College is a small college located in Concord, New Hampshire. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,543 students. Granite State College has a less than one year program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated three students in 2008.

NHTI-Concord's Community College - Concord, NH

NHTI-Concord's Community College, 31 College Drive, Concord, NH 03301-7412. NHTI-Concord's Community College is a small college located in Concord, New Hampshire. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 3,646 students and an admission rate of 73%. NHTI-Concord's Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated ten and eleven 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: Manchester, New Hampshire

Manchester, New Hampshire
Manchester, New Hampshire photo by FSosio

Manchester is situated in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire. It has a population of over 108,586, which has grown by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Manchester, 120, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Manchester are valued at $138,300 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, eighty-eight new homes were constructed in Manchester, down from ninety-four the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Manchester are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and computer and electronic products. The average travel time to work is about 21 minutes. More than 22.3% of Manchester residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Manchester is 7.6%, which is greater than New Hampshire's average of 6.5%.

The percentage of Manchester residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Bethel Christian Fellowship Church, Saint Pauls United Methodist Church and Blessed Sacrament Roman Catholic Church are among the churches located in Manchester. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

Manchester is home to the Spaulding House and the New Hampshire Youth Development Center as well as Derryfield Park and Crystal Lake Park. Shopping malls in the area include Hampshire Plaza Shopping Center, The Mall of New Hampshire and Second Street Shoppes Shopping Center. Visitors to Manchester can choose from TAGE Inn & Suites, CNHParking and Firebird Motel for temporary stays in the area.