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Career and Education Opportunities for Legal Assistants in Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee

Legal assistants can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee area. There are currently 3,730 jobs for legal assistants in Tennessee and this is projected to grow by 39% to 5,180 jobs 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. In general, legal assistants assist lawyers by researching legal precedent, investigating facts, or preparing legal documents.

A person working as a legal assistant can expect to earn about $18 hourly or $37,640 yearly on average in Tennessee and about $22 hourly or $46,120 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Legal assistants earn less than people working in the category of Administration and Support generally in Tennessee and more than people in the Administration and Support category nationally. Legal assistants work in a variety of jobs, including: closing agent, corporate paralegal, and paralegal specialist.

There are fifty schools of higher education in the Nashville-Davidson area, including six within twenty-five miles of Nashville-Davidson where you can get a degree to start your career as a legal assistant. Legal assistants usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so you can expect to spend about four years studying to be 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 Nashville-Davidson 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

Draughons Junior College Inc - Nashville, TN

Draughons Junior College Inc, 340 Plus Park Blvd, Nashville, TN 37217. Draughons Junior College Inc is a small college located in Nashville, Tennessee. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 450 students. Draughons Junior College Inc has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated four students in 2008.

Volunteer State Community College - Gallatin, TN

Volunteer State Community College, 1480 Nashville Pike, Gallatin, TN 37066-3188. Volunteer State Community College is a medium sized college located in Gallatin, Tennessee. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 7,241 students and an admission rate of 100%. Volunteer State Community College has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated eight 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.

Kaplan Career Institute - Nashville, TN

Kaplan Career Institute, 750 Envious Lane, Nashville, TN 37217-5318. Kaplan Career Institute is a small school located in Nashville, Tennessee. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 595 students. Kaplan Career Institute has an associate's degree and a postbaccalaureate certificate program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated thirty-one and thirty-four students respectively in 2008.

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.

Draughons Junior College-Murfreesboro - Murfreesboro, TN

Draughons Junior College-Murfreesboro, 415 Golden Bear Court, Murfreesboro, TN 37128. Draughons Junior College-Murfreesboro is a small college located in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 570 students. Draughons Junior College-Murfreesboro has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated seven students 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: Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee

Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee
Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee photo by Kaldari

Nashville-Davidson is located in Williamson County, Tennessee. It has a population of over 596,462, which has grown by 9.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Nashville-Davidson, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Nashville-Davidson are priced at $196,100 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, 1,483 new homes were constructed in Nashville-Davidson, down from 3,070 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Nashville-Davidson are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 29.7% of Nashville-Davidson residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Nashville-Davidson residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 55.2%, is more than both the national and state average. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.