Legal administrative assistants (NOC 1242)

About this job

Legal administrative assistants provide administrative support in law offices and the courts. They also work in banks, credit unions, real estate companies, government offices and legal departments of large companies.

Watch the video below to see what a legal administrative assistant does in a day.

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Legal administrative assistant


Common job titles
  • administrative assistant, real estate
  • assistant, commercial law / corporate law
  • assistant, corporate finance / tax
  • assistant, criminal law
  • assistant, family law / wills & estates
  • assistant, foreclosures / insurance

Duties

Legal administrative assistants:

  • Prepare correspondence and legal documents, such as wills, probate forms, affidavits, court pleadings, real estate papers and financial statements
  • Review/proofread documents and correspondence
  • Co-ordinate with clients to schedule meetings and court dates
  • Maintain an efficient file management system
  • Control confidential materials and documents
  • Manage incoming mail and email, as well as co-ordinate the flow of court documents and other information
  • Collaborate with others as part of a legal team

Legal administrative assistants may also:

  • Supervise and train other staff
  • Take notes in court, at meetings and during conferences
  • Do other general office work

Work environment

Legal administrative assistants may work with a single lawyer or provide support to several legal professionals. They must be able to work independently and as part of a team. 

Most legal administrative assistants work regular, full-time office hours. Some work from home. After-hours or weekend work may sometimes be required.

The shift from paper to electronic documentation means legal administrative assistants do a great deal of work on computers. This may lead to wrist or eye strain.

This is a demanding role in which excellent organization skills, high energy and attention to detail are key. Legal administrative assistants must be able to follow directions, prioritize tasks, manage competing goals and meet strict deadlines. Because they deal with confidential information, they must also show good judgement and discretion.

Insights from industry

While technology has reduced the demand for some administrative professionals, well-qualified legal administrative assistants still enjoy good prospects for full-time work.

There are currently enough new graduates, but some employers struggle to find workers with practical experience and strong knowledge in the various areas of legal practice. Legal administrative assistants with training and experience in litigation, corporate, estate and conveyance procedures, as well as those with good computer and communication skills, are in higher demand.

Career paths and resources

Career paths

Legal administrative assistants often start as filing clerks or in other junior roles in law firms or legal departments of large organizations.

As they gain experience, junior assistants may advance to senior assistant positions. With further education they may move on to other roles, such as paralegal.

Workers can increase their prospects for employment and promotion by taking additional training in legal theory and practice.

Additional resources