Career and Education Opportunities for Legal Assistants in Chattanooga, Tennessee
Many educational and employment opportunities exist for legal assistants in the Chattanooga, Tennessee area. Currently, 3,730 people work as legal assistants in Tennessee. This is expected to grow 39% to 5,180 people by 2016. This is better than 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.
Income for legal assistants is about $18 hourly or $37,640 annually on average in Tennessee. Nationally, their income is about $22 per hour or $46,120 per year. Incomes for legal assistants are not quite as good as in the overall category of Administration and Support in Tennessee, and better than the overall Administration and Support category nationally. Legal assistants work in a variety of jobs, including: certified paralegal, legal investigator, and corporate legal assistant.
There are three schools within twenty-five miles of Chattanooga where you can study to be a legal assistant, among twenty schools of higher education total in the Chattanooga area. 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
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 Chattanooga 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.
- 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
Chattanooga State Technical Community College - Chattanooga, TN
Chattanooga State Technical Community College, 4501 Amnicola Hwy, Chattanooga, TN 37406-1097. Chattanooga State Technical Community College is a medium sized college located in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,488 students. Chattanooga State Technical Community College has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated nineteen students in 2008.
Virginia College-School of Business and Health - Chattanooga, TN
Virginia College-School of Business and Health, 721 Eastgate Loop Rd., Chattanooga, TN 37411. Virginia College-School of Business and Health is a small college located in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 562 students and an admission rate of 91%. Virginia College-School of Business and Health has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal.
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga - Chattanooga, TN
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, 615 McCallie Ave, Chattanooga, TN 37403-2598. The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is a medium sized university located in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 9,807 students and an admission rate of 79%. The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga has a bachelor's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated sixteen students 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: Chattanooga, Tennessee
Chattanooga is situated in Hamilton County, Tennessee. It has a population of over 170,880, which has grown by 9.9% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chattanooga, 85, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Chattanooga are priced at $141,100 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, two hundred sixty-two new homes were built in Chattanooga, down from four hundred forty-one the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Chattanooga are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 21.5% of Chattanooga residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.5%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Chattanooga is 9.5%, which is less than Tennessee's average of 10.2%.
The percentage of Chattanooga residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.2%, is more than both the national and state average. Stuart Heights Baptist Church, Kings Point Church and Stanley United Methodist Church are some of the churches located in Chattanooga. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Non-Charismatic Churches Independent.
Chattanooga is home to the Creeks Bend Golf Club and the Concord Golf Course as well as Warner Park and Ross Landing City Park. Shopping malls in the area include Northgate Mall, Northgate Crossing Shopping Center and Lee Plaza East Shopping Center. Visitors to Chattanooga can choose from Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, Crystal Air Sport Motel and Hampton Inn Chattanooga I-75 North for temporary stays in the area.