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Career and Education Opportunities for Legal Assistants in Denton, Texas

For those living in the Denton, Texas area, there are many career and education opportunities for legal assistants. There are currently 17,510 jobs for legal assistants in Texas and this is projected to grow by 30% to 22,770 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. Legal assistants generally 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 hourly or $45,680 per year on average in Texas and about $22 per hour or $46,120 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. 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. Legal assistants work in a variety of jobs, including: research analyst, legal investigator, and proposal specialist.

The Denton area is home to twenty-seven schools of higher education, including five within twenty-five miles of Denton 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 Denton 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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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: Denton, Texas

Denton, Texas
Denton, Texas photo by Nv8200p

Denton is located in Denton County, Texas. It has a population of over 119,454, which has grown by 48.3% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Denton, 92, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Denton are priced at $265,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, five hundred seventy-eight new homes were constructed in Denton, down from seven hundred eighty-seven the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Denton are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 35.5% of Denton residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Denton is 6.0%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Denton residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 34.5%, is less than both the national and state average. Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, Pleasant Grove Church and Central Baptist Church are among the churches located in Denton. The most prominent religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Denton is home to the Denton County Courthouse and the Daughters of the American Revolution Museum as well as Phoenix Park and Evers Park. Visitors to Denton can choose from Best Western Denton Inn and Clayton House Motel for temporary stays in the area.