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Career and Education Opportunities for Legal Assistants in Warwick, Rhode Island

There are many career and education opportunities for legal assistants in the Warwick, Rhode Island area. Currently, 810 people work as legal assistants in Rhode Island. This is expected to grow by 15% to 930 people 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 $22 hourly or $46,530 annually on average in Rhode Island and about $22 per hour or $46,120 annually on average nationally. Legal assistants earn less than people working in the category of Administration and Support generally in Rhode Island and more than people in the Administration and Support category nationally. People working as legal assistants can fill a number of jobs, such as: judicial assistant, real estate closer, and corporate legal assistant.

There are fifty-one schools of higher education in the Warwick area, including four within twenty-five miles of Warwick where you can get a degree to start your career 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 Warwick 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

Providence College - Providence, RI

Providence College, River Ave and Eaton St, Providence, RI 02918-0001. Providence College is a medium sized college located in Providence, Rhode Island. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,180 students and an admission rate of 45%. Providence College has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated two students in 2008.

Johnson & Wales University - Providence, RI

Johnson & Wales University, 8 Abbott Park Place, Providence, RI 02903-3703. Johnson & Wales University is a large university located in Providence, Rhode Island. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,488 students and an admission rate of 72%. Johnson & Wales University has one to two year, associate's degree, and bachelor's degree programs in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated three, fourteen, and seven students respectively in 2008.

Community College of Rhode Island - Warwick, RI

Community College of Rhode Island, 400 East Ave, Warwick, RI 02886-1807. Community College of Rhode Island is a large college located in Warwick, Rhode Island. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 17,612 students. Community College of Rhode Island has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated thirty-seven students in 2008.

Roger Williams University - Bristol, RI

Roger Williams University, One Old Ferry Rd, Bristol, RI 02809-2923. Roger Williams University is a small university located in Bristol, Rhode Island. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,609 students and an admission rate of 61%. Roger Williams University has a bachelor's degree and a postbaccalaureate certificate program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated nine and 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: Warwick, Rhode Island

Warwick, Rhode Island
Warwick, Rhode Island photo by Marcbela

Warwick is located in Kent County, Rhode Island. It has a population of over 84,483, which has shrunk by 1.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Warwick, 94, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Warwick are priced at $129,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, thirty new homes were constructed in Warwick, down from forty-nine the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Warwick are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 22 minutes. More than 24.5% of Warwick residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.9%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Warwick is 11.5%, which is less than Rhode Island's average of 12.2%.

The percentage of Warwick residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 67.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Warwick Bible Chapel, Warwick Central Baptist Church and Warwick Christian Fellowship Church are all churches located in Warwick. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Warwick is home to the Kent County Chamber of Commerce and the Community College of Rhode Island Learning Resources Center as well as Apponaug Historic District and Salter Grove State Park. Shopping malls in the area include Buttonwoods Plaza Shopping Center, Buttonwoods Shopping Center and Clocktower Square Shopping Center. Visitors to Warwick can choose from Fairfield Inn Providence/Warwick, Extended Stay America and Courtyard by Marriott for temporary stays in the area.