Paralegals and Legal Assistants

Job Summary

Paralegals and legal assistants often play key roles in law firms as they may be responsible for conducting legal research as well as gathering and compiling data and evidence for lawyers. Paralegals draft legal documents, and use computer software to organize the ever increasing amount of documents and data relevant to a case.


Paralegals and legal assistants generally carry out the following duties:

  • Conduct investigations and gather evidence

  • Organize hard copy or electronic documents and files efficiently for easy retrieval

  • Prepare legal documents before trials or court hearings

  • Assist lawyers by handling exhibits, taking notes and reviewing documents

  • Schedule interviews with clients or case related persons



Most employers require only an associate’s degree in paralegal studies but some may require a bachelor’s degree. In the case of the latter, most paralegals obtain a bachelor’s degree in another area with a certificate of paralegal studies. Some employers train college graduates on the job who have no prior legal experience or legal education.


In order to test Paralegals or Legal assistants effectively, employers usually administer the IQ Cognitive Test which assesses the individual’s analytical skills, problem solving skills and critical thinking skills. The Work ethics personality test can also be administered to evaluate the individual’s work standards and attitudes.

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Paralegals and Legal Assistants

Job Facts

2018 Median Pay
$50,940 per year, $24.49 per hour
Entry level qualification
Associate's degree
Number of jobs in 2016
Expected Growth rate (2016 – 26)