Not all legal work requires a law degree. As a legal support professional, you will work directly under the supervision of a lawyer. You will generally do background work for the lawyer and prepare litigation for trial by investigating the facts of the case to make sure that all relevant information is uncovered. While the lawyer assumes responsibility for the legal support professional’s work, you will often be allowed to perform all the functions of a lawyer other than accepting clients, setting fees, giving legal advice, or presenting a case in court.
You may conduct research to identify the appropriate laws, judicial decisions, legal articles and other material that will be used to determine whether or not the client has a good case. After analyzing all the information, you may prepare a written report that is used by the attorney to decide how the case should be handled. If the attorney decides to file a lawsuit on behalf of the client, you may prepare legal arguments, draft pleadings to be filed with the court, obtain affidavits and assist the attorney during the trial. You may also keep files of all documents and correspondence important to the case. Secretarial services are normally required as well.
Careers in this area can be rewarding. There are currently more than 500 legal secretary positions in the Great Lakes Bay Region and demand is expected, however, job growth is declining.
In this field, it is estimated you could earn $36,000 a year.
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- Legal Secretary
- Judicial Law Clerk
- Adminsitrative Assistant
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About Delta's Program
We work closely with area law firms, government offices and businesses to determine employer needs. Many employers prefer individuals who have received training and can balance the duties of a traditional paralegal with that of a legal support office professional. Delta’s Legal Support Professional degree and/or certificates often meet those needs.
The Delta College program is a good first step in gaining experience in legal topics, and also provides specific legal content for individuals currently working in the field that want to enhance their skills.
The Law Office Specialist Advanced Certificate is designed to provide advanced office skills while specializing in a legal office.
Why you should choose Delta
Life is busy. But that shouldn't get in the way of your education. Delta offers classes at night, on weekends and online to make taking classes and getting that degree easier. Plus, Delta has off-campus centers so you can take classes even closer to home.
You can get hands-on experience in your field while you're working toward that degree. I know. It's awesome! Plus, you'll even get paid. That's co-op! Check it out.
At the Teaching Learning Center, located in the Library, we offer tutoring on a wide variety of subjects, and help with developing study and learning skills. Most tutoring is on a walk-in basis but we do have some online tutoring options.
Best of all, it's free for currently enrolled Delta students. Just another way we demonstrate our commitment to helping students succeed.
facts & figures
The Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget has projected a 15.5% job growth rate for paralegals and legal assistants in the state of Michigan from 2010 to 2020.
In May 2011 the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 4,760 paralegals and legal assistants in Michigan, which had grown to 5,340 by May of 2014.