Legal Assistants

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A legal assistant is a professional who assists a lawyer in performing everyday tasks such as maintaining and organizing files, conducting legal research, and drafting documents. Though the terms paralegals and legal assistants are used interchangeably, in reality, they are quite different from each other. A paralegal is an assistant who has the required education and skills to perform substantive legal groundwork for lawyers, whereas a legal assistant performs administrative tasks.

What Does a Legal Assistant Do?

Legal assistants are often involved in managing the administrative tasks that are required by the paralegals and lawyers. Legal assistants are also known as legal administrative assistants, as they take care of daily tasks and administrative duties for a lawyer. A legal assistant may collect information from clients, prepare legal documents and organizes these documents for the lawyer to review. They monitor calendars and schedule appointments, answer phone calls, respond to mails, and take dictation. Though legal assistants may not have the necessary education, they can act as legal advisors and legal policy experts because of their vast legal knowledge.

There are many paralegals and legal assistants who work on contractual basis and offer freelance services online. These professionals can be found on Guru – one of the best websites to hire freelancers.  

If you wish to hire a Freelance Legal Assistant, make sure the freelancer can:

  • File exhibits, briefs, appeals and other legal documents with the court or opposing counsel.

  • Conduct trial research.

  • Conduct research on relevant laws, regulations and legal articles.

  • Prepare motions and pleadings for filing in court and ensure court filing needs are met.

  • Draft correspondence and legal documents, such as contracts and mortgages.

  • Review trial transcripts.

  • Call clients, witnesses, lawyers and outside vendors to schedule interviews, meetings and depositions.

  • Organize, analyze and compile information.

Qualifications of a Legal Assistant

It is ideal for your freelancer to have the following skills:

  • Professional education in Legal Studies or relevant experience in legal administration.

  • Familiarity with laws, legal procedures and proceedings.

  • Research skills.

  • Exceptional time management skills.

  • Good interpersonal skills.

  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills.

  • Trustworthy and capable of maintaining discretion and client confidentiality at all times.

Benefits of Legal Assistants

Freelance legal assistants can be hired for performing stand-alone tasks such as researching on a given topic or for finding a reference for a certain case, and can be paid just for those tasks which saves on cost. They do not need to be provided with an office space or any equipment like printers or scanners. This reduces the cost of investment and maintenance of office supplies and equipment and thus, results in higher profit margin for the client.

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