o be a good legal assistant, you need to have a wide array of talents to keep things going smoothly given the range of duties you will carry in the legal field.
If you're thinking about working as a legal assistant, it’s good to know the traits you should have that will come in handy so you can thrive where you work.
You need to know more than just the law to become a successful legal assistant. In this blog, we’ll go over the top seven qualities you should possess to become successful, and this requires both technical skills and soft skills.
Let’s get into it:
The majority of a legal assistant's time is spent communicating over the phone and email. As a result, legal assistants must exhibit strong interpersonal and communication abilities.
Legal assistants should be outstanding writers to prepare emails and memos that serve as representations of the lawyers they support. They must also have good phone manners and interpersonal skills while speaking with clients or other parties.
Every day, legal assistants may deal with stressed lawyers, disgruntled clients, challenging members of the opposing counsel, reluctant witnesses, judges, coworkers, vendors, and more. These interactions can happen in person, on the phone, via a video conference, over email, via text message, or in writing.
A top-notch legal assistant should have the ability to give instructions, extend a courteous greeting, and defuse heated situations. This calls for active listening, clear communication, the ability to read nonverbal signs, negotiation skills, and emphatic body language.
Lawyers are active professionals. Their workplaces can quickly become disorganized due to ongoing trials, mountains of paperwork, and frequent meetings.
Organized legal assistants keep their supervisors organized as well. The work of legal assistants contributes to the smooth operation of law offices and legal clinics by handling duties including organizing projects, keeping track of calendars, and handling paperwork.
Legal assistants help lawyers with a variety of tasks that they need to get done. A legal assistant must therefore be well-organized to keep track of due dates and make sure that lawyers are ready for court appearances.
In addition to several other duties, legal assistants must be able to manage lawyers’ calendars, organize files, and plan meetings. A career as a legal assistant may be ideal for you if you are very organized.
Even a small error during a trial could mean that the case is lost, so legal texts must be well looked over. Legal assistants are responsible for spotting and fixing any mistakes that others may have overlooked. Typos, double-booked meetings, and missing pieces of evidence are all included in this. Precision, the ability to take notes, and attention to detail are required.
Attention to detail is a crucial trait for anyone with a legal assistant education. Regularly handling significant legal documents, legal assistants can also be assigned to prepare documents, transcribe audio files for use in court, and perform other duties.
All of these duties demand meticulous attention to detail because, in the legal profession, even a minor error could have grave repercussions. Researching the law, creating and reviewing legal papers, preparing for trial, and honing your legal arguments can take a lot of time.
Precision, commitment, and hard work are required for this job. The best legal assistants are willing to put in the extra effort necessary to guarantee that clients receive the best outcome.
Things like research, writing, and reading skills are very important technical skills that you need to have if you want to pursue a legal career.
For paralegals and legal assistants, reading, writing, and research are vital skillsets to have. In this role, you'll spend a lot of time doing tasks like:
People who work in law are typically great readers and analytical thinkers who read quickly. You can get better at these things during your training, but it does help if you truly like doing them.
Legal assistants work for the best interests and legal rights of their clients. They have the client's trust to represent them as effectively as possible while abiding by the law.
Legal assistants are supposed to uphold and obey the rules of the legal system just as much as lawyers are. A strong sense of ethics and a high level of professionalism are required for this activity. You will directly affect your client’s life, and with power comes responsibility.
Even though you won't be directly representing clients while serving as a legal assistant, you will still be held to a high standard of ethics. It will be crucial to your professional reputation as a legal worker.
Legal assistants frequently handle private documents and delicate information, hence they must be able to manage that material with care and confidentiality.
Critical thinking is essential for legal professionals. In addition to arranging meetings, scheduling interviews, and gathering paperwork, legal assistants also devote a significant amount of their time to doing legal research for cases.
They need to have good critical thinking and analytical skills to recognize pertinent information and facts. Strong analytical abilities are required for legal assistants because of their responsibility to perform research. They must be able to conduct effective information searches, recognize reliable sources, and differentiate between pertinent facts.
Throughout your career, being able to gather insightful research will benefit the success of the lawyers you assist and help you foresee their needs as a case progresses. In the end, a skilled legal assistant's critical thinking abilities can be a tremendous asset.
Legal assistants rely on a large number of people to complete their tasks, who also in turn depend on them. This holds true no matter how many people work in an office.
They should also see themselves as valuable members of a broader team rather than as an individual working alone if they are to be successful. Legal assistants should also be prepared to accept their position as supporting, albeit crucial individuals because they are often working in the background of most legal cases.
The role of legal assistants in providing legal services depends heavily on collaboration. They collaborate with lawyers, paralegals, secretaries, file clerks, and other professionals in a practical setting, from huge corporate legal departments to solo practitioners, to provide effective and efficient legal services.
Legal assistants are key individuals that every legal practice needs. Their efforts in the office are irreplaceable, and much work would be backlogged without them.
If you don’t feel like you possess all the qualities mentioned above, don’t worry, with hard work and determination, you can constantly better yourself and practice these traits to be the best in your career.
Interested in a career in the legal field? ABM College’s Legal Assistant Diploma can get you prepared to enter the industry and find meaningful work in just 54 weeks.
Get started on the road to becoming an ABM College graduate today with our free information kit. In it, you will learn about all of the exciting programs we offer, our philosophy, information about our campuses, and lots more.