dcsimg

Legal Support Workers

Legal support workers perform tasks for lawyers. The term legal support worker covers a wide array of work from filing documents to performing legal research. They work in occupations such as paralegal, legal secretaries, legal transcriptionists and other occupations. Legal support workers need to be knowledgeable about legal terminology and protocol. Some legal support personnel primarily perform administrative tasks while others such as paralegals are involved with actual legal work.

Some of the job titles are brief writer, contract clerk, case briefer, law researcher, legal research analysts, patent researcher, trail examiner and legal technician.

A paralegal performs actual legal work and not just administrative tasks. Paralegals, also known as legal assistants, are often given tasks carried out by lawyers such as preparing trial materials and identifying laws and judicial decisions that are relevant to cases. Investigating the facts of cases is also part of the occupation.

A paralegal also helps prepare lawyers for corporate meetings. Some paralegals help draft mortgages, contracts and separation agreements. They also help with planning estates and establishing trust funds. In addition, paralegals are not allowed to represent clients in court, set legal fees or offer legal advice.

Legal transcriptionists utilize the skills of court reporters to create verbatim transcriptions of meetings, interviews and other events for recording purposes and later review. Many legal transcriptionists work for legal support services companies that offer their services to law firms. Some legal transcriptionists are employed by large law firms.

Legal secretaries perform office administrative tasks for legal firms. Some of the tasks are information processing and storage, scheduling, preparing documents and performing research. They should have a strong foundation in the court system and legal terminology.

Legal secretaries often spend time preparing documents including subpoenas, complaints and court motions. They also verify information, sources and quotes that will be utilized in court trials and other types of legal proceedings.

Job Characteristics

Legal transcriptionists should have skills with stenotype and other types of transcribing machines. They should have excellent typing skills and have a solid foundation in legal terminology. They also need good grammar and spelling skills.

Paralegals perform most of their work in offices and law libraries. They occasionally travel to collect information and to perform other tasks. Paralegals typically work 40 hours per week.

Legal secretaries usually work 40 per week, however sometimes overtime is necessary. Legal secretaries should be detailed oriented.

Employment Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts employment growth for paralegal and legal assistants to be 22% between 2006 and 2016. The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts 12% employment growth for legal secretaries from 2006 to 2016.

The median annual earnings for paralegals and legal assistants in 2006 was $43,040. The median annual earnings in 2006 for legal secretaries was $38,190.

Those who have a bachelor's degree or some formal training as a legal secretary have the best career opportunities. An increased demand for legal services and a need to lower legal costs should continue to provide employment opportunities for legal secretaries.

Law firms are using paralegals to perform a wider array of tasks. Law firms reduce costs by allowing paralegals to perform tasks typically done by lawyers.

Education, Certification, and Licensing

Partaking in a community college paralegal program that leads to an associate degree is a common path for becoming a paralegal. Bachelor's and associate degree programs typically combine paralegal training with classes in other subjects. A small number of schools provide a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in paralegal studies. In addition, graduating from an American Bar Association approved paralegal program can improve the chances of getting a job.

Certificate programs are also available for the paralegal field. The National Association of Legal Assistants offers the Certified Paralegal credential and the Advanced Paralegal certification. The American Alliance of Paralegals, Inc., and the National Federation of Paralegal Association also offer credentials.

Community colleges, private careers schools and technical centers provide legal secretarial programs that take one to two years to finish. Through a testing process, the National Association of Legal Assistants offers the Accredited Legal Secretary designation to those that have at least one year of experience in the legal field and to those that have completed an approved training course. The association also offers the Professional Legal Secretary certificate for legal support professionals.

Legal transcriptionists are required to have certification. A strong foundation of the legal system and legal terminology are vital. Business law training, typing and computer skills are important to prospective employers.

Resources

Major Employers

The primary employment sectors are law firms, legal support services, the government, insurance carriers and corporations.

Schools for Legal Support Workers are listed in the Browse Schools Section.

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for:
Legal Support Workers

Listed below are metro areas sorted by the total number of people employed in Legal Support Workers jobs , as of 2015

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

     
Metro Area (Alabama) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Birmingham 80 $50,130
Hoover 80 $50,130
Montgomery 40 $48,210
     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Scottsdale 450 $50,410
Mesa 450 $50,410
Phoenix 450 $50,410
Tucson 90 $48,710
     
Metro Area (Arkansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Conway 190 $44,830
North Little Rock 190 $44,830
Little Rock 190 $44,830
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anaheim 2980 $50,420
Long Beach 2980 $50,420
Los Angeles 2980 $50,420
San Francisco 880 $60,180
Oakland 880 $60,180
Hayward 880 $60,180
Riverside 350 $48,120
San Bernardino 350 $48,120
Ontario 350 $48,120
Carlsbad 350 $48,800
San Diego 350 $48,800
Santa Clara 330 $78,930
San Jose 330 $78,930
Sunnyvale 330 $78,930
Arcade 310 $55,200
Sacramento 310 $55,200
Roseville 310 $55,200
Arden 310 $55,200
Thousand Oaks 170 $53,000
Oxnard 170 $53,000
Ventura 170 $53,000
Lodi 100 $45,980
Stockton 100 $45,980
Santa Barbara 90 $62,010
Santa Maria 90 $62,010
Modesto 30 $41,030
Fresno N/A $35,100
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Denver 860 $58,250
Aurora 860 $58,250
Lakewood 860 $58,250
Colorado Springs 70 $47,440
Greeley 60 $52,510
Fort Collins 50 $54,140
Boulder 50 $55,160
Grand Junction 30 $41,900
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
East Hartford 130 $72,090
West Hartford 130 $72,090
Hartford 130 $72,090
New Haven 60 $52,060
     
Metro Area (Delaware) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dover 70 $49,870
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Miami 1890 $38,400
Fort Lauderdale 1890 $38,400
West Palm Beach 1890 $38,400
Tampa 980 $37,620
St. Petersburg 980 $37,620
Clearwater 980 $37,620
Sanford 690 $36,360
Orlando 690 $36,360
Kissimmee 690 $36,360
Tallahassee 250 $43,350
Brent 140 $40,720
Pensacola 140 $40,720
Ferry Pass 140 $40,720
Fort Myers 120 $29,820
Cape Coral 120 $29,820
Gainesville 120 $30,840
Lakeland 90 $43,170
Winter Haven 90 $43,170
Naples 80 $36,160
Marco Island 80 $36,160
Immokalee 80 $36,160
Melbourne 40 $37,970
Palm Bay 40 $37,970
Titusville 40 $37,970
Deltona 40 $46,260
Daytona Beach 40 $46,260
Ormond Beach 40 $46,260
Bradenton 40 $50,520
Sarasota 40 $50,520
North Port 40 $50,520
Port St. Lucie N/A $35,100
Crestview N/A $36,910
Fort Walton Beach N/A $36,910
Destin N/A $36,910
Jacksonville N/A $41,020
Ocala N/A $52,330
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Atlanta 560 $56,030
Roswell 560 $56,030
Sandy Springs 560 $56,030
Macon 60 $48,960
Savannah 50 $49,660
     
Metro Area (Hawaii) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Urban Honolulu 290 $48,460
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anderson 830 $35,630
Carmel 830 $35,630
Indianapolis 830 $35,630
Fort Wayne N/A $49,080
     
Metro Area (Iowa) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Des Moines 150 $44,830
Des Moines 150 $44,830
     
Metro Area (Kentucky) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fayette N/A $48,210
Lexington N/A $48,210
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
New Orleans 160 $44,840
Metairie 160 $44,840
Bossier City 50 N/A
Shreveport 50 N/A
Baton Rouge 50 $64,980
     
Metro Area (Maine) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Portland 70 $48,290
Portland 70 $48,290
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Towson 830 $55,620
Columbia 830 $55,620
Baltimore 830 $55,620
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Wyoming 40 $51,420
Grand Rapids 40 $51,420
     
Metro Area (Mississippi) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Jackson 40 $50,120
     
Metro Area (Missouri) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Jefferson City 260 $36,950
Springfield 40 $43,820
     
Metro Area (Montana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Billings 30 $44,840
     
Metro Area (Nevada) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Paradise 230 $51,050
Henderson 230 $51,050
Las Vegas 230 $51,050
Reno N/A $43,330
     
Metro Area (New Jersey) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Trenton 30 $59,050
     
Metro Area (New Mexico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albuquerque 140 $31,940
     
Metro Area (New York) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albany 480 $45,530
Troy 480 $45,530
Schenectady 480 $45,530
Niagara Falls 120 $47,900
Buffalo 120 $47,900
Cheektowaga 120 $47,900
Rochester 50 $51,130
Syracuse 40 $52,590
     
Metro Area (North Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Greensboro 70 N/A
High Point 70 N/A
Fayetteville 40 $43,820
Chapel Hill 40 $56,850
Durham 40 $56,850
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Columbus 360 $50,400
Elyria 200 $48,600
Cleveland 200 $48,600
Akron 60 $49,530
Dayton 50 $50,570
Toledo 40 $48,200
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Tulsa 100 N/A
Oklahoma City 70 $46,750
     
Metro Area (Oregon) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salem 180 $48,530
Eugene 60 $30,550
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pittsburgh 140 $56,580
Harrisburg 90 $56,980
Carlisle 90 $56,980
Hazleton 50 $48,210
Barre 50 $48,210
Scranton 50 $48,210
Wilkes 50 $48,210
     
Metro Area (Puerto Rico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Caguas 160 $46,490
Carolina 160 $46,490
San Juan 160 $46,490
     
Metro Area (South Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
North Charleston 40 $55,510
Charleston 40 $55,510
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Knoxville 50 $48,210
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fort Worth 670 $50,200
Dallas 670 $50,200
Arlington 670 $50,200
Sugar Land 540 $48,300
Houston 540 $48,300
The Woodlands 540 $48,300
Austin 350 $69,800
Round Rock 350 $69,800
New Braunfels 320 $41,610
San Antonio 320 $41,610
El Paso 40 $42,210
Corpus Christi N/A $44,840
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salt Lake City 60 $43,520
     
Metro Area (Vermont) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Burlington 40 $58,570
Burlington 40 $58,570
     
Metro Area (Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Richmond 200 $48,290
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Seattle 600 $60,270
Bellevue 600 $60,270
Tacoma 600 $60,270
Spokane Valley 50 $50,780
Spokane 50 $50,780
     
Metro Area (West Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Charleston 50 $48,200
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Allis 110 $54,400
Waukesha 110 $54,400
Milwaukee 110 $54,400
Madison 40 $52,600

Most Popular Industries for :
Legal Support Workers

Industries representing at least 1% of total jobs for the occupation.

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Industry Jobs Percent Annual Median Salary
Government 25,110 64% $53,070
Professional And Technical Services 6,790 17% $45,290
Insurance 1,860 4% $48,500
Office Services And Staffing 1,310 3% $41,510
Business Management 650 1% $53,330
These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles). Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
 
Results:  3
Matching School Ads
Programs
  • Paralegal Studies
  • Turn your talents into a career at nationally recognized and accredited Platt College.
camnpus icon
Anaheim
Request Info
Programs
  • Legal Assistant/Paralegal
  • Earn Your Diploma from Home!
Programs
  • Associate of Arts: Paralegal Studies
  • Bachelor of Science: Paralegal Studies
  • Master of Business Administration in American Legal Studies
  • Liberty University provides a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, equipping men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for success in every aspect of life.

CityTownInfo Career and College Resources

We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Legal Support Workers.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

Back to Top