Career and Education Opportunities for Legal Assistants in Cary, North Carolina
If you want to be a legal assistant, the Cary, North Carolina area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 7,840 working legal assistants in North Carolina; this should grow by 38% to 10,820 working legal assistants in the state by 2016. This is better than 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 $17 hourly or $37,130 annually on average in North Carolina. Nationally they average about $22 per hour or $46,120 annually. Compared with people working in the overall category of Administration and Support, people working as legal assistants in North Carolina earn less. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Administration and Support nationally. People working as legal assistants can fill a number of jobs, such as: immigration specialist, document processor, and contract preparer.
There are five schools within twenty-five miles of Cary where you can study to be a legal assistant, among twenty-seven schools of higher education total in the Cary area. 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
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 Cary 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
Central Carolina Community College - Sanford, NC
Central Carolina Community College, 1105 Kelly Dr, Sanford, NC 27330-9840. Central Carolina Community College is a small college located in Sanford, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,753 students. Central Carolina Community College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated one, one, and nine students respectively in 2008.
Miller-Motte College-Cary - Cary, NC
Miller-Motte College-Cary, 2205 Walnut Street, Cary, NC 27518-7171. Miller-Motte College-Cary is a small college located in Cary, North Carolina. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 495 students and an admission rate of 84%. Miller-Motte College-Cary has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal.
Meredith College - Raleigh, NC
Meredith College, 3800 Hillsborough St, Raleigh, NC 27607-5298. Meredith College is a small college located in Raleigh, North Carolina. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,250 students and an admission rate of 69%. Meredith College has a postbaccalaureate certificate program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated sixty-eight students in 2008.
Johnston Community College - Smithfield, NC
Johnston Community College, 245 College Road, Smithfield, NC 27577-2350. Johnston Community College is a small college located in Smithfield, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,128 students. Johnston Community College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated zero, three, and nine students respectively in 2008.
Durham Technical Community College - Durham, NC
Durham Technical Community College, 1637 Lawson St, Durham, NC 27703-5023. Durham Technical Community College is a medium sized college located in Durham, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,214 students. Durham Technical Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated seven and eleven students respectively in 2008.
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: Cary, North Carolina
Cary is situated in Wake County, North Carolina. It has a population of over 129,545, which has grown by 37.0% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Cary, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Cary are priced at $204,400 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, 1,313 new homes were built in Cary, down from 2,326 the previous year.
The three big industries for women in Cary are professional, scientific, and technical services, educational services, and health care. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, computer and electronic products, and construction. The average commute to work is about 23 minutes. More than 60.7% of Cary residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 23.0%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Cary is 6.2%, which is less than North Carolina's average of 10.6%.
The percentage of Cary residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 43.8%, is less than both the national and state average. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.
Cary is home to Hemlock Bluffs State Natural Area and Regency Park. Visitors to Cary can choose from Hampton Inn Cary, Embassy Suites Hotel Raleigh-Durham and Hampton Inn & Suites for temporary stays in the area.