Behind every good lawyer is a great legal assistant. Responsible for a variety of duties, including preparing for trials and hearings and compiling information about cases, legal assistants are essential in helping lawyers stay organized and ensuring that the proper documents, statements, evidence, and contracts are gathered. Legal assistants may also perform essential administrative tasks, scheduling appointments and client interviews, handling accounting and billing, and monitoring email correspondence.
After earning a legal assistant diploma from SBC College, you’ll be equipped with the skills to assist lawyers in a number of different environments. Below, discover three different work environments you may seek employment in as a legal assistant.
Work in Private Practice After Earning Your Legal Assistant Diploma
Many legal assistants choose to work in private practice after completing their training. By definition, private practice law firms are professional businesses which aren’t controlled by or under the purview of a larger organization or government body. Within private practice law firms, you’ll be working with lawyers to conduct legal services for clients, providing assistance wherever it’s needed. Your tasks will range from conducting legal research to answering emails to meeting with clients, depending on the nature of each case.
Often, there’s more room for specialization when working in private practice. If you discover you’re particularly passionate about a certain area of law after completing your legal assistant program, you might consider carving out a niche for yourself by assisting lawyers in these fields. Whether it’s Criminal, Family Law, Wills and Estates, or another area you’re interested in, working in private practice law firms will provide you with the opportunity to define your interests.
Consider a Career in the Canadian Government
If you’re interested in a rewarding career with plenty of opportunities for advancement, you might consider working for the federal government of Canada as a legal assistant for the Department of Justice. Within the Department of Justice, you’ll assist law professionals in drafting, proofreading and compiling legal documents, filing paperwork for court, and handling administrative tasks such as organization, correspondence, scheduling and more. As a legal assistant for the government, you’ll have the opportunity to work in practically every area of law, including any litigation for the Canadian government. Legal assistants may work in Saskatoon with the Crown Prosecutor’s Office or in one of the 6 regional offices and sub-offices within Canada. For those earning a legal assistant diploma with the goal of improving Canadian lives, this could be the work environment for you.
Enjoy a Team-Oriented Environment in Corporate Legal Departments
If you’re interested in corporate law, a role as a legal assistant within a larger corporation could be right for you. Large corporations contain in-house legal teams in order to handle a number of different legal needs for their organization. As a legal assistant working in-house, your role will typically be more generalized, working under legal professionals to meet a variety of needs for the business. Your tasks might include contributing to employment discrimination cases, business incorporation, litigation between two businesses, customer disputes, or other areas of corporate law. Additionally, you may work on filing legal reports and documents to regulatory agencies, demonstrating that corporations are meeting legal requirements within their industries.
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