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Career and Education Opportunities for Legal Assistants in Ramapo, New York

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for legal assistants in the Ramapo, New York area. There are currently 25,580 jobs for legal assistants in New York and this is projected to grow 16% to 29,760 jobs 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 about $27 hourly or $56,460 annually on average in New York and about $22 hourly or $46,120 annually on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Administration and Support, people working as legal assistants in New York 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: complex commercial litigation paralegal, paralegal, and title curator.

The Ramapo area is home to 136 schools of higher education, including seven within twenty-five miles of Ramapo where you can get a degree 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 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 Ramapo 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

CUNY Bronx Community College - Bronx, NY

CUNY Bronx Community College, W 181 St & University Ave, Bronx, NY 10453. CUNY Bronx Community College is a medium sized college located in Bronx, New York. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,348 students. CUNY Bronx Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated five and twenty-nine students respectively in 2008.

Berkeley College - West Paterson, NJ

Berkeley College, 44 Rifle Camp Rd, West Paterson, NJ 07424. Berkeley College is a small college located in West Paterson, New Jersey. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,052 students and an admission rate of 78%. Berkeley College has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated twenty-two students in 2008.

SUNY Westchester Community College - Valhalla, NY

SUNY Westchester Community College, 75 Grasslands Road, Valhalla, NY 10595. SUNY Westchester Community College is a large college located in Valhalla, New York. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,090 students. SUNY Westchester Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated twenty and seventeen students respectively in 2008.

Rockland Community College - Suffern, NY

Rockland Community College, 145 College Rd, Suffern, NY 10901. Rockland Community College is a medium sized college located in Suffern, New York. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,986 students. Rockland Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated eleven and fifteen students respectively in 2008.

Montclair State University - Montclair, NJ

Montclair State University, 1 Normal Avenue - 855 Valley Road, Montclair, NJ 07043-1624. Montclair State University is a large university located in Montclair, New Jersey. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 17,475 students and an admission rate of 52%. Montclair State University has a postbaccalaureate certificate program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated fourteen students in 2008.

CUNY Hostos Community College - Bronx, NY

CUNY Hostos Community College, 500 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10451. CUNY Hostos Community College is a medium sized college located in Bronx, New York. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,240 students. CUNY Hostos Community College has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated four students in 2008.

Bergen Community College - Paramus, NJ

Bergen Community College, 400 Paramus Rd, Paramus, NJ 07652-1595. Bergen Community College is a large college located in Paramus, New Jersey. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,283 students. Bergen Community College has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated sixteen 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: Ramapo, New York

Ramapo, New York
Ramapo, New York photo by Mwanner

Ramapo is situated in Rockland County, New York. It has a population of over 115,096, which has grown by 5.7% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Ramapo, 150, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Ramapo are valued at $187,300 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, one hundred seventy-four new homes were built in Ramapo, down from two hundred fourteen the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Ramapo are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 33 minutes. More than 34.5% of Ramapo residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.1%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Ramapo is 6.6%, which is less than New York's average of 8.7%. About 16.3% of Ramapo's residents are below the poverty line, which is worse than the state average.

The percentage of Ramapo residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 82.9%, is more than both the national and state average. Wesley Chapel and Saint Vincent De Paul Church are all churches located in Ramapo. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the United Methodist Church.

Ramapo is home to the Kanes Open Camp and the Cedar Hollow Country Club.