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Career and Education Opportunities for Legal Assistants in Essex, Vermont

Legal assistants can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Essex, Vermont area. About 600 people are currently employed as legal assistants in Vermont. By 2016, this is expected to grow 17% to 700 people employed. This is not quite as good as 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 $20 hourly or $43,310 per year on average in Vermont 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 Vermont and better than general Administration and Support category earnings nationally. People working as legal assistants can fill a number of jobs, such as: immigration specialist, corporate legal assistant, and legal paraprofessional.

There are three schools within twenty-five miles of Essex where you can study to be a legal assistant, among fourteen schools of higher education total in the Essex 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 Essex 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

Woodbury Institute at Champlain College - Montpelier, VT

Woodbury Institute at Champlain College, 660 Elm St, Montpelier, VT 05602. Woodbury Institute at Champlain College is a small college located in Montpelier, Vermont. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 190 students. Woodbury Institute at Champlain College has one to two year, associate's degree, and bachelor's degree programs in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated eleven, fourteen, and nine students respectively in 2008.

Burlington College - Burlington, VT

Burlington College, 95 North Ave, Burlington, VT 05401. Burlington College is a small college located in Burlington, Vermont. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 156 students and an admission rate of 54%. Burlington College has a one to two year program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated three students in 2008.

Champlain College - Burlington, VT

Champlain College, 163 S. Willard St, Burlington, VT 05401. Champlain College is a small college located in Burlington, Vermont. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,907 students and an admission rate of 73%. Champlain College has less than one year, associate's degree, and bachelor's degree programs in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated five, three, and four 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: Essex, Vermont

Essex, Vermont
Essex, Vermont photo by Fancy-cats-are-happy-cats

Essex is situated in Chittenden County, Vermont. It has a population of over 19,649, which has grown by 5.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Essex, 95, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Essex cost $228,000 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, six new homes were built in Essex, down from thirteen the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Essex are educational services, health care, and computer and electronic products. For men, it is computer and electronic products, educational services, and construction. The average travel time to work is about 19 minutes. More than 45.6% of Essex residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 17.1%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Essex is 4.8%, which is less than Vermont's average of 5.9%. About 2.6% of Essex's residents are below the poverty line, which is better than the state average.

The percentage of Essex residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 39.8%, is less than both the national and state average. Federated Church, Covenant Community Church and Essex Alliance Church are among the churches located in Essex. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church.

Essex is home to the Essex Free Library and the Essex Town Hall.