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Career and Education Opportunities for Legal Assistants in McAllen, Texas

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for legal assistants in the McAllen, Texas area. About 17,510 people are currently employed as legal assistants in Texas. By 2016, this is expected to grow 30% to 22,770 people employed. 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.

The income of a legal assistant is about $21 per hour or $45,680 yearly on average in Texas. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $22 hourly or $46,120 annually on average. 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 legal assistant, paralegal, and patent agent.

There are three schools within twenty-five miles of McAllen where you can study to be a legal assistant, among nine schools of higher education total in the McAllen area. The most common level of education for legal assistants is a Bachelor's degree. 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

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 McAllen 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

South Texas Vo-Tech Institute - Weslaco, TX

South Texas Vo-Tech Institute, 2419 E Haggar Ave, Weslaco, TX 78596. South Texas Vo-Tech Institute is a small school located in Weslaco, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 266 students. South Texas Vo-Tech Institute has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal.

South Texas Vocational Technical Institute-McAllen - McAllen, TX

South Texas Vocational Technical Institute-McAllen, 2400 Daffodil Ave., McAllen, TX 78501. South Texas Vocational Technical Institute-McAllen is a small school located in McAllen, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 222 students. South Texas Vocational Technical Institute-McAllen has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated nineteen and zero students respectively in 2008.

South Texas College - McAllen, TX

South Texas College, 3201 W Pecan, McAllen, TX 78502-9701. South Texas College is a large college located in McAllen, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 22,066 students. South Texas College has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated ten 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: McAllen, Texas

McAllen, Texas
McAllen, Texas photo by L1CENSET0K1LL

Mcallen is located in Hidalgo County, Texas. It has a population of over 129,776, which has grown by 22.0% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Mcallen, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Mcallen cost $174,400 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, five hundred seventy-three new homes were constructed in Mcallen, down from seven hundred fifty-four the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Mcallen are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, educational services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 19 minutes. More than 23.6% of Mcallen residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Mcallen is 7.4%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Mcallen residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 50.4%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Emmanuel Baptist Church, Family of Faith Fellowship Church and First Missionary Baptist Church are some of the churches located in Mcallen. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Mcallen is home to the Sam and Marjorie Miller House and the McAllen Memorial Library as well as Schupp Park and Archer Park. Shopping centers in the area include Las Tiendas Plaza Shopping Center and La Plaza Shopping Center.