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Career and Education Opportunities for Legal Assistants in Clarksville, Tennessee

If you want to be a legal assistant, the Clarksville, Tennessee area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. 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%. Legal assistants generally assist lawyers by researching legal precedent, investigating facts, or preparing legal documents.

Legal assistants earn about $18 hourly or $37,640 per year on average in Tennessee and about $22 hourly or $46,120 yearly on average nationally. Earnings for legal assistants are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Administration and Support in Tennessee and better than general Administration and Support category earnings nationally. People working as legal assistants can fill a number of jobs, such as: contract preparer, legal analyst, and eviction specialist.

There are three schools within twenty-five miles of Clarksville where you can study to be a legal assistant, among twelve schools of higher education total in the Clarksville area. 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 Clarksville 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

Draughons Junior College - Clarksville, TN

Draughons Junior College, 1860 Wilma Rudolph Blvd, Clarksville, TN 37040-6718. Draughons Junior College is a small college located in Clarksville, Tennessee. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 539 students. Draughons Junior College has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated two students in 2008.

Miller-Motte Technical College - Clarksville, TN

Miller-Motte Technical College, 1820 Business Park Dr, Clarksville, TN 37040. Miller-Motte Technical College is a small college located in Clarksville, Tennessee. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 504 students. Miller-Motte Technical College has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated six students in 2008.

Brown Mackie College-Hopkinsville - Hopkinsville, KY

Brown Mackie College-Hopkinsville, 4001 Fort Campbell Boulevard, Hopkinsville, KY 42240-4948. Brown Mackie College-Hopkinsville is a small college located in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 271 students. Brown Mackie College-Hopkinsville has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated two and three 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: Clarksville, Tennessee

Clarksville, Tennessee
Clarksville, Tennessee photo by Avala

Clarksville is situated in Montgomery County, Tennessee. It has a population of over 119,735, which has grown by 15.7% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Clarksville, 82, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Clarksville cost $97,300 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, six hundred thirty-five new homes were built in Clarksville, down from 1,038 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Clarksville are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, public administration, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 24 minutes. More than 19.8% of Clarksville residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.8%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Clarksville is 8.8%, which is less than Tennessee's average of 10.2%.

The percentage of Clarksville residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 45.3%, is less than both the national and state average. Spring Creek Church, South Chapel and Saint John Baptist Church are among the churches located in Clarksville. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Clarksville is home to the Industrial Historic District and the Trice Landing as well as Fairgrounds Park and New Providence Recreation Area. Shopping malls in the area include Governors Square Mall Shopping Center, Clarksville Square Shopping Center and Two Rivers Mall Shopping Center. Visitors to Clarksville can choose from Comfort Inn North, Hampton Inn Clarksville and Guesthouse Clarksville for temporary stays in the area.