Legal assistant certification is a must if you want to be hired by any legal firm. This is a safety requirement for both you and your employer. There are five main reasons why it’s important to get yourself certified first, even if it’s not a requirement.
1. Lawyers and Court
As a legal assistant you work directly under a lawyer or a law firm. You provide research and handle documentation in regards to a case or situation your office is handling. In order to properly follow through on your job you need some understanding of law, especially when you are asked to perform research. Certification proves your legal understanding and eligibility to the firm that you’ve chosen.
2. Get Certified Anyway
While there is no legal requirement to be certified to work with a law firm, the majority require all candidates to be certified in order to be above board with any issue that could arise throughout the course of your employment. The minimum requirement to work in a law firm as a legal assistant is, legally, an associate’s degree, so why not get certified anyway?
3. Required Skillset
Communication and technology are the two key skills in working as an assistant. As a legal assistant, you’ll work with a group of people that work for the main partners of the firm. You have to effectively communicate with your bosses and superiors, and be capable of working a computer or other technology to record and compile relevant documentation. You are what helps ensure a lawyer has everything organized for his or her case.
4. Helpful Additional Skills
Legal writing is a non-required skill to work as a legal assistant, but will make your resume look better at potential firms. Certification training often includes classes on legal writing. If you can understand legal terminology and how laws are phrased, you become a better asset and assistant to your firm.
5. Work Experience
Prior work experience in a law firm or office is a resume building helper. Prior work experience can be a simple entry-level job in an office setting, or previous work at a law firm. Law firms do have entry level jobs that don’t require certification. In fact, working while getting certified is a great way to get a feel for your prospective work environment.
Certification training isn’t required, but it’s something employers look for. Hiring practices over the years have changed greatly, so getting yourself certified for the position now proves to the firm that you’re qualified.