Job Title: Legal Assistant
Type of Company: My firm represents small business owners.
Education: Aquinas College (Milton, MA)
Previous Experience: I've always worked in the legal field.
Job Tasks: My duties include maintaining and updating corporate documents for small businesses: filing annual reports, amended or restated articles of organization and other corporate documents with the Secretary of State's office. I prepare documents for sale transactions for small business owners, including Asset Purchase Agreements, Terminal Agreements, Consulting Agreements, Stock Transfers, Non-Competition Agreements and other documents which pertain to the sale or lease of commercial properties. I'm involved in the preparation of estate planning documents, including Wills, Trusts, Health Care Proxies and Durable Powers of Attorney for execution by clients. I keep track of attorney time and expenses and accounts payables and receivables for clients on a monthly basis and input them into our computer. I also maintain in-house files for each client and send closed files off-site to archives.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is that I can work independently on different transactions without much guidance. I am often called on to take on tasks at the last minute. We have strong relationships with our clients and their referrals have brought us a lot more business. I work well with my boss and have a lot of respect for my co-workers.
The worst part of my job is the commute, which has nothing to do with the actual work.
Job Tips: If you are interested in becoming a legal assistant, get educated and get your degree. It will pay off in the long run. You have an opportunity to make a lot of money in this field and the time you spend on a degree can give you an advantage. There are numerous areas of the law; some will interest you, others will prove quite boring, but you want to be open to anything.
Additional Thoughts: If I were to change one thing about how I became a legal assistant, I would have gotten a four-year degree in business, so at some point, after learning the ins and outs of the legal field, I could manage a legal staff of my own. The thing that has surprised me about my field is how an assistant has evolved from typing away at a desk all day to managing an attorney's day-t-day, week-to-week and month-to-month schedule.
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