The Legal Assistant is a vital member of the legal team, responsible for supporting attorneys with administrative tasks, drafting legal documents, and managing client communications. Editing and formatting legal documents, assisting with the discovery process, and scheduling/calendar management are key activities. The position also may assist with court system document filing, managing schedules, and coordinating actives with external counterparties.
A legal assistant position has a significant organizational impact within a law firm or legal department. Legal assistants enhance productivity by handling administrative tasks, allowing lawyers to focus on more complex work. They contribute to time and cost efficiency by streamlining operations, improving workflow management, and assisting with compliance and risk management. Legal assistants also play a crucial role in supporting case preparation and litigation, fostering collaboration within the team. Overall, their contributions lead to increased efficiency, improved client service, and the potential for professional development within the organization.
Legal assistants rely on a range of key systems to effectively carry out their responsibilities. Document management systems enable them to efficiently organize and maintain legal documents, contracts, and case files, ensuring easy access and version control. Legal research tools and databases assist in conducting thorough research, retrieving relevant statutes, regulations, and case law to support legal analysis and decision-making. Case management software allows legal assistants to track case progress, deadlines, and milestones, facilitating streamlined collaboration, task management, and communication within the legal team. Additionally, legal assistants may utilize communication and collaboration tools, such as email systems and shared document platforms, to facilitate efficient internal and external communication among team members and stakeholders. These key systems enable legal assistants to streamline their workflow, enhance productivity, and contribute to the overall efficiency of the organization.
Legal assistants receive legal documents, contracts, and instructions from attorneys and clients. They also gather information from client communications, such as emails and discussions, to assist in legal matters.
Legal assistants produce prepared legal documents, provide research findings and summaries, prepare case updates and reports, maintain organized files, facilitate client communication, and offer general administrative support to the legal team.
-Researching, reviewing, verifying, and routing correspondence, reports and legal documents
- Preparing legal documents and law office documents of all types, including briefs, correspondence, affidavits, contracts, pleadings, deposition summaries, discovery, and memos
- Scheduling couriers, court reporters, and coordinating the preparation of charts, graphs, and other courtroom visuals
- Complete electronic court filings as instructed in a timely manner to meet deadlines
- Maintaining attorney/legal department calendar by planning and scheduling conferences, meetings, teleconferences, dispositions, and travel; recording and monitoring court appearance dates, pleadings, and filing requirements; monitoring evidence-gathering; anticipating changes in litigation or transaction preparation requirements
- Keep paperwork and digital documents organized and properly filed
- Preparing trial notebooks, and keep legal exhibits properly labeled, organized, and prepared for upcoming trials
- Aid legal team members by answering phones, sorting mail, preparing expense reports, and performing light clerical duties
- Aid with legal research and looking up pending case files as requested by lawyers
- Maintains client confidence by keeping client/attorney information confidential
- Maintains office supplies by checking stocks; placing and expediting orders; evaluating new products
Sample Event-Driven Tasks
- Assisting in the preparation of urgent court filings
- Responding to client inquiries and requests for immediate assistance
- Conducting research and providing analysis for emerging legal issues
- Assisting in the preparation of documents for unexpected hearings or meetings
- Assisting with the resolution of time-sensitive legal disputes
Sample Scheduled Tasks
- Drafting and reviewing contracts and agreements
- Conducting legal research for upcoming cases or projects
- Assisting with the preparation of trial exhibits and evidence
- Organizing and updating case files and documentation
- Attending team meetings and providing updates on assigned tasks
Sample Infill Tasks
- Proofreading and editing legal documents for accuracy and formatting
- Conducting research and preparing summaries on relevant legal topics
- Assisting with administrative tasks, such as scheduling meetings and managing calendars
- Compiling and organizing data for reports or presentations
- Assisting with document management, including scanning, indexing, and archiving.