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Career and Education Opportunities for Legal Assistants in Arlington, Texas

Arlington, Texas provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for legal assistants. Currently, 17,510 people work as legal assistants in Texas. This is expected to grow by 30% to about 22,770 people 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. Legal assistants generally assist lawyers by researching legal precedent, investigating facts, or preparing legal documents.

Legal assistants earn about $21 per hour or $45,680 annually on average in Texas and about $22 hourly or $46,120 annually on average nationally. Earnings for legal assistants are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Administration and Support in Texas and better than general Administration and Support category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: contracts specialist, closing agent, and document processor.

The Arlington area is home to eighty-seven schools of higher education, including eight within twenty-five miles of Arlington where you can get a degree 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 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 Arlington 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

Tarrant County College District - Fort Worth, TX

Tarrant County College District, 1500 Houston St, Fort Worth, TX 76102-6599. Tarrant County College District is a large college located in Fort Worth, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 39,596 students. Tarrant County College District has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated four and twenty-six students respectively in 2008.

Arlington Career Institute - Grand Prairie, TX

Arlington Career Institute, 901 Ave K, Grand Prairie, TX 75050. Arlington Career Institute is a small school located in Grand Prairie, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 270 students. Arlington Career Institute has a one to two year program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated eighty-one students in 2008.

Everest College-Dallas - Dallas, TX

Everest College-Dallas, 6080 North Central Expressway, Dallas, TX 75206. Everest College-Dallas is a small college located in Dallas, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 356 students and an admission rate of 62%. Everest College-Dallas has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated twenty-seven students in 2008.

El Centro College - Dallas, TX

El Centro College, 801 Main, Dallas, TX 75202-3604. El Centro College is a medium sized college located in Dallas, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,114 students. El Centro College has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated fifty-five students in 2008.

Everest College-Fort Worth - Fort Worth, TX

Everest College-Fort Worth, 5237 N Riverside Dr Ste 100, Fort Worth, TX 76137. Everest College-Fort Worth is a small college located in Fort Worth, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 465 students and an admission rate of 51%. Everest College-Fort Worth has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated five students in 2008.

Southeastern Career Institute - Dallas, TX

Southeastern Career Institute, 12005 Ford Road, Suite 100, Dallas, TX 75234. Southeastern Career Institute is a small school located in Dallas, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 321 students. Southeastern Career Institute has a less than one year program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated fifty-six students in 2008.

Iverson Business School and Court Reporting - Arlington, TX

Iverson Business School and Court Reporting, 1600 East Pioneer Pkwy, Suite 200, Arlington, TX 76010. Iverson Business School and Court Reporting is a small school located in Arlington, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 186 students. Iverson Business School and Court Reporting has a less than one year program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated seven students in 2008.

Collin County Community College District - Plano, TX

Collin County Community College District, 4800 Preston Park Blvd., Plano, TX 75093. Collin County Community College District is a large college located in Plano, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 21,000 students. Collin County Community College District has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated thirteen and thirteen 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: Arlington, Texas

Arlington, Texas
Arlington, Texas photo by Alienevil

Arlington is located in Tarrant County, Texas. It has a population of over 374,417, which has grown by 12.4% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Arlington, 89, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Arlington are priced at $154,300 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, four hundred twenty-six new homes were constructed in Arlington, down from eight hundred twelve the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Arlington are educational services, health care, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 27 minutes. More than 30.4% of Arlington residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.8%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Arlington is 7.5%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Arlington residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 52.5%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Advent Lutheran Church, Pleasantview Baptist Church and Central Assembly of God Church are some of the churches located in Arlington. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Arlington is home to the Festival Marketplace and the The Parks at Arlington as well as Arlington Tennis Center - University of Texas and Doug Russel Park. Visitors to Arlington can choose from Budget Host International, Baymont Inns & Suites and Candlewood Suites for temporary stays in the area.