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Career and Education Opportunities for Legal Assistants in Columbus, Ohio

Legal assistants can find many career and educational opportunities in the Columbus, Ohio area. There are currently 6,320 working legal assistants in Ohio; this should grow 20% to 7,560 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.

Legal assistants earn about $19 hourly or $41,060 per year on average in Ohio and about $22 hourly or $46,120 per year on average nationally. Legal assistants earn less than people working in the category of Administration and Support generally in Ohio and more than people in the Administration and Support category nationally. Jobs in this field include: judicial assistant, real estate closer, and patent agent.

The Columbus area is home to sixty-three schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of Columbus where you can get a degree as a legal assistant. Legal assistants usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so 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 Columbus 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

Bradford School - Columbus, OH

Bradford School, 2469 Stelzer Road, Columbus, OH 43219. Bradford School is a small school located in Columbus, Ohio. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 362 students. Bradford School has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated eight students in 2008.

Academy of Court Reporting-Columbus - Columbus, OH

Academy of Court Reporting-Columbus, 150 E. Gay St., Columbus, OH 43215. Academy of Court Reporting-Columbus is a small school located in Columbus, Ohio. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 245 students and an admission rate of 54%. Academy of Court Reporting-Columbus has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated twelve students in 2008.

Columbus State Community College - Columbus, OH

Columbus State Community College, 550 E Spring St, Columbus, OH 43215. Columbus State Community College is a large college located in Columbus, Ohio. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 24,203 students. Columbus State Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated thirteen and forty-six 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: Columbus, Ohio

Columbus, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio photo by Xnatedawgx

Columbus is located in Franklin County, Ohio. It has a population of over 754,885, which has grown by 6.1% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Columbus, 82, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Columbus cost $169,200 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, six hundred eighty-six new homes were constructed in Columbus, down from 1,008 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Columbus are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is accommodation and food services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and construction. The average travel time to work is about 22 minutes. More than 29.0% of Columbus residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.2%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Columbus is 8.5%, which is less than Ohio's average of 10.0%.

The percentage of Columbus residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.6%, is less than both the national and state average. Hebrew Baptist Church, Heritage Temple Freewill Baptist Church and Higher Ground Always Abounding Assembly Church are all churches located in Columbus. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Columbus is home to the Busch Corporate Center Industrial Park and the J C Penney Catalog Outlet Store as well as Nafzger Park and Lower Scioto Park. Shopping centers in the area include Indianola Shopping Center, Ohio Stater Mall Shopping Center and Shapter Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbus can choose from Drury Inn & Suites Convention Center, Best Western Clarmont Inn and Crowne Plaza Downtown for temporary stays in the area.