Career and Education Opportunities for Legal Assistants in Dallas, Texas
Legal assistants can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Dallas, Texas area. About 17,510 people are currently employed as legal assistants in Texas. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 30% to about 22,770 people employed. 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.
A person working as a legal assistant can expect to earn about $21 per hour or $45,680 annually on average in Texas and about $22 hourly or $46,120 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for legal assistants are not quite as good as in the overall category of Administration and Support in Texas, and better than the overall Administration and Support category nationally. People working as legal assistants can fill a number of jobs, such as: corporate paralegal, bankruptcy assistant, and probate paralegal.
The Dallas area is home to eighty-three schools of higher education, including eight within twenty-five miles of Dallas where you can get a degree as a legal assistant. Legal assistants usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so it will take about four years to learn to be 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 Dallas 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.
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.
Texas Woman's University - Denton, TX
Texas Woman's University, 304 Administration Dr, Denton, TX 76201. Texas Woman's University is a large university located in Denton, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 12,341 students and an admission rate of 56%. Texas Woman's University has a bachelor's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated twenty 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: Dallas, Texas
Dallas is situated in Dallas County, Texas. It has a population of over 1,279,910, which has grown by 7.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Dallas, 91, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Dallas cost $295,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, 1,198 new homes were constructed in Dallas, down from 2,090 the previous year.
The three big industries for women in Dallas are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, administrative and support and waste management services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 27 minutes. More than 27.7% of Dallas residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.6%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Dallas is 8.7%, which is greater than Texas's average of 8.1%.
The percentage of Dallas residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 55.1%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. El Buen Samaritano Methodist Church, Penuel Seventh Day Adventist Church and Peoples Baptist Church are all churches located in Dallas. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.
Dallas is home to the Camp Wisdom and the North Bishop Avenue Commercial Historic District as well as Trinity River Greenbelt Park and Buckner Park. Shopping centers in the area include Wynnewood Village Shopping Center, Valley View Center Shopping Center and Galleria Shopping Center at Dallas. Visitors to Dallas can choose from Benjamin West Dallas LLC, Bucks Bar and Candlewood Suites Hotel for temporary stays in the area.